Olympic 200m freestyle champion Yannick Agnel, of France, claimed a 15:16.86 victory over 1500m amid winter work at the second stage of the Golden Lanes Circuit at home in Nice. Fourth in the Olympic 100m final, Agnel is among that rare breed whose talents extend to world-class distance times. In his wake came Anthony Pannier, of Sarcelles, on 15:25.22, and Agnel's Nice teammate Damien Joly, on 15:32.69.
While distance work has long been a part of Agnel's preparation with coach Fabrice Pellerin, his race record shows a rare appearance over 30 or 60 laps: his effort in Nice grants him a debut appearance in the world top 200 at 197th all-time, while his best short-course aswim, 15:26.72, dates back to his junior days in December 2009.
Agnel's teammate and fellow Olympic champion at London 2012, Camille Muffat clocked 8:30.59, going through in 4:16.55, over 800m freestyle ahead of former world champion and Danish training partner, Lotte Friis, on 8:34.25.
The circuit serves as a winter test for those in the midst of a process geared to the Barcelona 2013 world titles come July and August.
In other action, Jérémy Stravius took the 200m backstroke in 1:59.33, well ahead of Hungary's David Verraszto, 2:04.82; Nice sprinters Anna Santamans (FRA) and Pernille Blume (DEN) went 25.59 and 25.83 at the helm of the freestyle dash; Italian visitor Luca Dotto kept teammate Luca Leonardi at bay in the men's dash, 22.65 to 23.05; the 100m 'fly finals went to Italy's world s/c champion Ilaria Bianchi, in 1:00.39, and teammate Piero Codia, on 53.53.