French former Olympic champ swaps pool for handball


PARIS: Former Olympic champion swimmer Florent Manaudou told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) that he is taking a break from the pool to concentrate on playing handball. The 50m freestyle gold medallist from London 2012 said in a statement he didn’t want to take “hasty or radical decisions” but wanted to avoid continuing his swimming career “without pleasure.” The 25-year-old will instead train with the Aix-en-Provence handball team, although “without any ambition other than to give my best” and “find a different source of pleasure.” Manaudou is the brother of Athens 2004 Olympic women’s 400m freestyle champion Laure Manaudou, a major star in France who made a shock early retirement at just 22 in 2009. She made a comeback two years later but that lasted less than two years before she definitively left the sport in January 2013, aged 26. As well as winning Olympic gold, Florent Manaudou is a three-time world and six-time European champion.



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