Andrii Govorov

Reigning world, Olympic and European 50m freestyle champion Florent Manaudou suffered his first defeat in two years in his favourite distance on Sunday, just a month before the Rio Games.

Manaudou surrendered the lead to Andrii Govorov at the French Open, the Ukrainian clocking a winning time of 21.93 seconds to pip the Frenchman (22.11sec) to a shock victory.

“When you have not lost for two or three years it sucks,” said Manaudou, 25, the world short-course record holder.

“This is the first time in four years that I swam so badly in a final.”

Manaudou had been hoping to pull off a 50m-100m freestyle double at the August Rio Games but failed to qualify for the latter at earlier French nationals.

He will nevertheless still swim a 100m in Rio as one of the 4x100m relay team and where France will defend their Olympic title.

Manaudou is the younger brother of former Olympic women’s swimming champion Laure Manaudou. – Agence France-Presse

- Advertisement -