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Most famous French sport professionals – Part II

SWIMMING

  • Laure Manaudou:

Laure Manaudou Olympic, World and European champion swimmer

France is proud of its Olympic, World and European champion swimmer Laure Manaudou. The 22-year-old prodigy currently holds the world records for the 400 m freestyle (Short Course) and 200 m freestyle (Long Course).

She also won the gold medal in the women’s 400 m freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Manaudou won the silver medal in the women’s 800 m freestyle at the same Olympics. She took the bronze medal at the women’s 100 m backstroke, becoming only the second Frenchwoman to win three medals in a single Summer or Winter Olympic Games.

She has become the favourite athlete of French people.

  • Alain Bernard (born on May 1st, 1983) is a French swimmer from Aubagne. Bernard has won 3 medals in the 2008 Summer Olympics. After competing on the silver medal-winning French 4 x 100 m relay team, Bernard won the gold medal in the men’s 100 m freestyle event.

Alain Bernard famous French swimmer

Bernard is the former holder of the 100 m freestyle long course world record after winning the European LC Championships 2008 final in a time of 47.50 seconds on March 22nd, 2008.

He had already beaten the world record the previous day, finishing in 47.60 seconds in the semifinals. On March 23rd, Bernard lowered the 50 m freestyle world record to a time of
21.50 but only held the record for four days before being defeated by Australian Eamon
Sullivan. Sullivan then beat Bernard’s 100 m freestyle mark in the opening leg of the
4×100 meter relay in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Bernard responded in the semi final of the 100 m with a time of 47.20, only to be beaten again in the next semifinal by Sullivan with a time of 47.05.

Olympic Games: Beijing Olympics (China):

Men’s 100 m freestyle gold medal.
Men’s 4 x 100 m Freestyle Relay silver medal.
Men’s 50 m freestyle bronze medal.

FINA World Championship:

FINA World Championship 2007 in Melbourne (Australia):
Men’s 4 x 100 m Medley french Relay bronze medal.

Europe Aquatics Championship:

Long Course:

Europe Aquatics Championship 2006 in Budapest (Hungary) :
Men’s 4 x 100 m Freestyle bronze medal.
Europe Aquatics Championship 2008 in Eindhoven (Netherlands) :
Men’s 50 m freestyle gold medal.
Men’s 100 m freestyle gold medal.

Short Course:

Europe Aquatics Championship 2005 in Trieste (Italia) :
Men’s 4×50 m Medley Relay freestyle silver medal.
Europe Aquatics Championship 2006 in Helsinki (Finlande) :
Men’s 4 x 50 m Medley Relay silver medal.
Men’s 100 m freestyle bronze medal.
Europe Aquatics Championship 2007 in Debrecen (Hungary) :
Men’s 100 m freestyle gold medal.
Men’s 4×50 m Medley Relay silver medal.
Men’s 50 m freestyle bronze medal.

  • Amaury Leveaux:

Amaury Leveaux famous French swimmer

Amaury Leveaux (born on 2nd December 1985) is a French swimmer from Belfort. Leveaux is the current World Record Holder in the 50 m Freestyle (Short Course – 20.48 sec.), the 100 m Freestyle (Short Course – 44.94 sec.) and the 50 m Butterfly (Short Course – 22.29 sec.) He also holds the 200 m freestyle (Long Course – 1:46.54) national record and the European record in the 50 m freestyle (Long Course).

At the French national championships, Leveaux managed to qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympics in the 50 m and 200 m freestyle events. Finishing fifth in the 100 m, he also qualified for the 4×100 m freestyle relay team. He set an Olympic record in the 100 m freestyle in the heats of the relay after leading off. France finished second in the final and Leveaux earned two silver medals in the 50m freestyle and 4×100m freestyle Relay.
He also remains the only swimmer in history to go under 22 seconds in the 50m freestyle LC and also swim under 1:47 in the 200m freestyle LC.

On Thursday 11th December 2008, in Rijeka (Croatia), Amaury Leveaux set a world record in the 50 m freestyle at the European short-course championships, finishing the semifinal in 20.48 seconds. The Frenchman beat the mark of 20.64 set by Roland Schoeman of South Africa on Sept. 6th in Germiston, South Africa.

On Saturday, Leveaux also set a new world record in the 50 m butterfly (short-course) in a time of 22.29 at the French National Championships in Angers. He lowered the previous global standard of 22.50.

He also broke the men’s 100 m world record by clocking 44.94 seconds in the final of the European championships at Rijeka, Croatia.

  • Coralie Balmy (born on June 8th, 1987 in La Trinité) is a French freestyle swimmer, who was born in Martinique.

Coralie Balmy famous French swimmer

She won her first senior title at the European LC Championships 2008 in Eindhoven in the 4×200 relay freestyle. At the same Championships she won the silver medal in the 400 m freestyle in a time of 4:04.15. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, she finished fourth in the 400m freestyle final.

On December 6th, 2008 she set the world record for the 200m Freestyle (SC) at the French National Championships in Angers, France in a time of 1:53.16.

Achievements:

2007: SC European Championships
3rd 200m freestyle (1:54.43)
2008: LC European Championships
1st 4x200m freestyle (7:52.09)
2nd 400m freestyle (4:04.15)

JUDOKA

  • David Douillet: (born on February 16th 1969)

David Douillet famous French judoka

Douillet was born in the city of Rouen. Standing at 1.96 meters (6’4″) and weighing 125 kilograms (276 lbs), he won the heavyweight gold medals in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games in Atlanta and Sydney. He also won 4 World Titles and one title in Europe.

He has won the most titles among French judokas and is one of the most successful judokas of all times.

David Douillet famous French judoka

RUGBY

The France national RUGBY union team represents France in rugby union.

XV de France, famous French rugby team

They compete annually against England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in the Six Nations Championship. They have won the Championship outright fourteen times, shared it a further eight times, and have completed eight grand slams.

They are currently the seventh-ranked team in the world, and are considered to be the strongest rugby nation on continental Europe. Six former French players have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.

BASKETBALL

  • Tony Parker:

Tony Parker famous French basketball player

William Anthony “Tony” Parker (born on May 17th, 1982) is a French professional basketball player for the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and member of France’s national basketball team. Brought up in a family with close ties to basketball, Parker played for two years in the French basketball league before entering the 2001 NBA Draft. He was selected by the San Antonio Spurs and quickly became their starting point guard, helping the Spurs win three NBA Championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Employing his pace and high field goal percentage to great effect, Parker has been selected as an NBA All-Star twice and was the 2007 NBA Finals MVP. He married actress Eva Longoria, best known for her role in the ABC television series Desperate Housewives, on 7th July 2007.

FIGURE SKATING

  • Brian Joubert (born on September 20th, 1984) is a French figure skater. He is the 2007 World Champion, a three-time European champion (2004, 2007, 2009), a six-time French National champion, and the 2006 Grand Prix champion.

Joubert Brian French figure skater

Joubert suffered a life-threatening illness at the age of 11 months, which led to the removal of one kidney. Because of this illness, Joubert chose figure skating over more violent sports that he favored. He began skating at the age of four with his two older sisters. The siblings started out with ice dancing, but Joubert became fascinated with the jumping aspect of singles skating and switched disciplines.

Joubert is known for his strong jumping ability. He has a consistent quadruple salchow and a quadruple toe loop. At the 2006 Cup of Russia competition, Joubert joined an elite group of men’s skaters by landing three quadruple jumps–two toe loops and a salchow–in his long program.

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