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manaudou sets 400m world record

The second oldest world record in the women’s books, and the oldest in Olympic events, was consigned to the history books today as France’s Laure Manaudou finally erased Janet Evans’ 1988 mark in the 400m freestyle. Whereas the American superstar had negative split her race, coming home faster in the second 200m than she had covered the opening 4 laps, the French prodigy swam a more traditional race, turning 2.65 seconds ahead of schedule at the half way point and hanging on over the closing stages to record a new mark of 4:03.03 – 0.82s under the old mark.
Not that it was her plan to break the record at the French European Championship Trials, currently being held in Tours. “I was quite nervous after all that had been written in the newspapers. Frankly, I didn’t think I would do it,” Manaudou said afterwards.