In my opinion Laure Manaudou has summarily given up and is singing her swan song and it sounds just like Ian Thorpe's did in 2005.
From ABC in Australia: "..."I don't know exactly what I am going to do (after the Olympics) but I am going to take a long break and think about something else," said Manaudou, who has endured a torrid year both in and out of the pool."For how long, I don't know. It could be one month, six months, a year. But I am definitely going to think about something else and spend more time with my family and friends, especially Esther (Baron, a swimmer who didn't qualify for the Games), who is not here.
She added: "I really want to see all those who are close to me and weren't able to be here with me."
Manaudou, who admitted she gave up in the 400m freestyle final, has seen her private life become a staple of French gossip columns. ..." [Link]
From the San Diego Union Tribune: The French compare her to Marie Jose Perec, the track star who won two golds at the 1996 Olympics and then crumbled under the pressure to repeat in 2000. She arrived in Sydney, freaked out and got on the first plane home. “Mademoiselle La Chicken,” one Australian paper called her.
At least Manaudou stayed in Beijing to accept her fate, but she questioned that wisdom in the aftermath of the 100 backstroke last night.
“I wonder whether it's worth the effort to continue,” said Manaudou, who has the 200 backstroke left. “I do not even want to swim any more. I don't know . . . It's just difficult to keep finishing seventh or eighth. We'll see.”
In the meantime, she is enjoying her relative anonymity in Beijing, where few people outside the pool recognize her or know her story, where Internet pornography is blocked by Chinese authorities.“It's great,” Manaudou said, “to be invisible.” [Link]