Set for a big splash

Set for a big splash
MAGNIFIQUE: France’s Florent Manaudou celebrating after winning the men’s 50m freestyle at last month’s Fina World Championships.
PHOTO: The New Paper

Fans of French swim star Florent Manaudou will do well to attend the Fina/airweave Swimming World Cup this weekend because it could well be the first and last time the 24-year-old competes here.

The 2012 Olympics 50m freestyle gold medallist and this year's World Championships 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly champion will join a star-studded cast at the OCBC Aquatic Centre for the Oct 3-4 event.

As it now stands, American four-time Olympic champion Missy Franklin, 20, is set for an intriguing backstroke showdown with 23-year-old Australian world champion Emily Seebohm.

Hungary's "Iron Lady" Katinka Hosszu, who has always been supportive of the Singapore leg of the World Cup, will also be back to swim multiple events as she continues to push her physical limits and the world's best times.

Typically a short-course (25m) competition, the eight-legged World Cup series has adopted a long-course (50m) format this year to act as an Olympic qualifier, which attract stars such as Manaudou.

LIKE SISTER

In an earlier interview with French news outlet Metronews, Manaudou, younger brother of 2004 Olympics 400m freestyle champion Laure, had hinted he could follow his sister's example and retire young, possibly after Rio next year.

"I'm the little brother of Laure Manaudou, this does not always help," he said of his elder sister who retired for the second and final time after the 2012 Olympics aged 25.

"It's complicated to have a sister who has won everything because we want to do the same, if not better, and that's hard.

"Maybe next year after the Olympics in Brazil, I will have more fun hanging out in the pool... unless I feel ready again to make the same sacrifices.

"Swimming for four hours every day, it is not necessarily fun. It's not the kind of thing that I will do after my career."

Ang Peng Wee, chairman of the organising committee for the Singapore leg, said that they warmly welcome these elite swimmers from all over the world to this weekend's Fina/airweave Swimming World Cup Singapore 2015 presented by Yakult.

He said: "The Singapore leg promises some really exciting race action as we greet well-known names including defending overall World Cup winner Katinka Hosszu and Olympic Champions Florent Manaudou and Missy Franklin.

"With the Rio 2016 Olympics fast on the horizon, supporters and fans can look forward to catching many of these Olympic medallists in action at the OCBC Aquatic Centre."

WHAT

Fina Swimming World CupSingapore 2015

WHEN

Oct 3 (Sat) and Oct 4 (Sun)

WHERE

OCBC Aquatic Centre

ADMISSION

Heats from 9am: Free

Finals from 6pm: Available from sportshubtix.com.sg from $25.

davidlee@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Sept 27, 2015.
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