Leveaux: ER 50 free - 21.38
Apr 26, 2008
Craig Lord

Amaury Leveaux (Mullhouse) challenged Eamon Sullivan's 21.28 world record in the 50m free at French trials in Dunkirk with a 21.38 European record that replaced compatriot Alain Bernard's 21.50 set at the European Championships last month. Bernard (CN Antibes) clocked 21.69 and Fred Bousquet (Marseilles) 21.72.

Bousquet's semi of 21.60 would have won any world and Olympic title in history - comfortably - but he will not race the 50m in Beijing, locked out by two teammates, post February 2008 as performance-enhancing bodysuits take the sport by the scruff of the neck.

Bousquet then set a French record of 51.50 to win the 100m butterfly, a time that challenged the European record of a swimmer who has spent the past several years racing some 2secs faster than the Frenchman - Andriy Serdinov (UKR), on 51.36.

In the 200m backstroke, Krisztina Egerszegi's European record of 2:06.62, from Athens 1991, survived by just 0.02sec as Laure Manaudou threw down the gauntlet for Beijing. The race with Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), et al is on, and all challengers will be aided by suits that skew how we should regard the likes of the Hungarian great and Alexander Popov, etc etc. Behing Manaudou was Alexiane Castel on 2:07.94, a time she had never been close to before.

Elsewhere, Malia Metella set a french record of 24.83 in 50 free semis, and Canet-based Romanian Camelia Potec clocked 8:23.78 in the 800m freestyle, ahead of Coralie Balmy, on 8:25.63, and second-berth for France Sophie Huber, in 8:30.78.