France wins big in European Swimming Championships
The French swimming team shone bright this week in Budapest during the 2010 European Swimming Championships taking 21 medals: eight gold, seven silver and six bronze. The result is France’s strongest ever performance in the European Championships.
France leaves the championships at the top of the table. Russia follows, with 12 medals including eight gold. England made it into third place, with a strong perfomance of 18 medals in total, including seven gold.
For the French team, Camille Lacourt and Sébastien Rouault twice won gold in individual events. Eighteen year-old Yannick Agnel, winning the 400-metres free-style, brought a breath of fresh air into the already talented French team.
Alain Bernard defended his 100m title, making amends for a disappointing performance in the 4x100 relay. Frederick Bousquet took the 50m sprint with a European record and triumphed in the 4x100 medley.
Dubosc took bronze in the breaststroke, performing strongly despite being relatively old at 29. Jeremy Stravius, Benjamin Stasiulis and Fabien Gilot also took to the podium in individual events.
In the women’s, however, the French team leaves the championships with a sense of unfulfilled potential. They departed without a single gold medal. Ninteen year-old Ophélie-Cyrielle Etienne, remains a bright hope for the future, taking three silver medals.
President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday congratulated the French team for their "fabulous performance". The entire team is invited to a lunch at the Elysée palace on 26 August.
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