Former Olympic champ Manaudou announces comeback

Paris: Former Olympic champion Laure Manaudou of France said on Sunday she will come out of retirement, joining a growing list of swimmers returning to the pool before the 2012 London Games.

"Yes, the will to resume competing is back," Manaudou told Sunday paper Le Journal du dimanche. "I need time. I`m not yet at world-championship level but I will work on it."

The 24-year-old Frenchwoman won gold in the 400 metres freestyle at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. She announced her retirement in 2009, in the wake of disappointing results at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Asked whether she wanted to be in London next year, she said: "Every swimmer who has been to Olympics wants to return but there`s a long way to go. First of all I need to qualify."

France`s most prolific swimmer, Manaudou has won several world titles and held several world records. Her partner is top French swimmer Frederick Bousquet. The couple have a daughter, Manon, who was born last year

Five-times Olympic champion Ian Thorpe and three-times champion Libby Trickett have also returned to the pool after the Australian duo ended retirements.

Bureau Report

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