2015 French Long Course National Championships
- Dates: Tuesday, March 31 – Sunday, April 5, 2015
- Times: prelims 9:00 am, semis/ finals 4:45 pm
- Location: Limoges, France (GMT +1, or 6 hours ahead of N.Y., 9 ahead of L.A.)
- Results: Available
- Championship Central
Women’s 400 Individual Medley Final
- French Record: Camille Muffat (Nice), 4:38.23, 2008
- 2014 National Champion: Lara Grangeon (Calédoniens), 4:40.57
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 4:44.50
It was a great start to the sixth and final day of the French Elite championships: Lara Grangeon of Calédoniens/Font-Romeu broke the long-standing French national record, winning the event in 4:37.55. Fantine Lesaffre of Mulhouse scored a personal-best as well, in 4:42.94, obtaining her first-ever international selection for France with her third-place finish. Between the two Frenchwomen was Hungarian national Evelyn Verraszto, who trains in Nice, with 4:41.77.
Adeline Martin of Antibes moved up a spot from prelims to finish fourth in 4:49.27. Julie Berthier of Mulhouse placed fifth with a lifetime-best by nearly 4 seconds, 4:51.20. Julie Fourtier of Guyancourt was sixth in 4:57.21, ahead of Dijon’s Morgane Rothon (4:58.38) and Isabelle Mabboux of Boulogne-Billancourt/Paris-INSEP (5:00.18).
Men’s 100 Butterfly Final
- French Record: Clément Lefert (Nice), 51.42, 2009
- 2014 National Champion: Mehdy Metella (Marseille), 52.56
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 52.52
Mehdy Metella of Marseille crashed through the 52-second barrier, winning the 100 fly in 51.74. It was his best performance by 2/10, and a great way to end the week. Metella had had a disappointing championship meet, failing to qualify for Kazan in the 50 fly and 100 free. But on Sunday he left no doubt as to his place on the French team with his final performance of the meet. Jordan Coelho of Vanves/Paris-INSEP, who won the 200 fly on Friday, finished second in 53.46, just out-touching Toulouse’s Paul Lemaire (53.52). All three of the medalists finished the race with new PBs.
Montauban’s Thomas Vilaceca was fourth, with a personal-best 53.89, his first sub-54. Paul Pijulet of Pontault-Roissy/Paris-INSEP finished fifth in 54.42. Pijulet went best times twice on Sunday; first improving his seed time by .4 in prelims, then by another .2 in finals.
Nans Roch of Canet 66 finished sixth with 54.50 (best by .2); Jordan Pothain of Nautic Club ALP ’38 was seventh in 54.75 (best by .25 and first time under 55); and Flavien Aubry of Créteil finished eighth in 54.98.
Pothain won a swim-off to secure his spot in the “A” final. Both he and Marvin Maisonneuve of Montauban went 55.11 in prelims; Maisonneuve won the “B” final with 54.77.
Women’s 50 Breaststroke Final
- French Record: Sophie de Ronchi (Massy), 30.96, 2009
- 2014 National Champion: Coralie Dobral (Montauban), 32.14
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 31.50
Charlotte Bonnet of Nice won her fifth event, making it a perfect week in Limoges. Bonnet went a personal-best 31.66, but failed to qualify for Kazan. Montpellier’s Fanny Deberghes was second in 31.73, a best time by 7/10. Adeline Williams of Toulouse rounded out the podium in 32.28.
The rest of the “A” final was made up of Nolwenn Herve of Thionville (32.66); Solène Gallego of Toulouse (32.71); Coralie Dobral of Montauban/Font-Romeu (32.80); Carmella Kitching of Montauban (33.12); and Emma Drhouin of Toulouse (33.29).
Men’s 1500 Freestyle (Fastest Heat)
- French Record: Sébastien Rouault (Mulhouse), 14:55.17, 2010
- 2014 National Champion: Joris Bouchaut (Toulouse), 15:08.65
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 15:13.98
Damien Joly of Antibes made it a clean sweep of the distance events with a 15:05.81 personal best to win the 1500. Joly improved on his seed time by 7 seconds. Defending champion Joris Bouchaut of Toulouse went 15:17.55 for second place, ahead of Marc-Antoine Olivier of Porte du Hainaut (15:23.12), who went a best time by 3.7 seconds.
Toulouse’s Nicolas D’Oriano, the 18-year-old gold medalist in Saturday’s 400 IM, placed fourth in 15:23.62, his best by 1.5 seconds. Fontainebleau-Avon’s Axel Reymond went 15:31.12 for fifth. Sixth place went to Krzysztof Pielowski of Poland, who trains at Saint-Dizier, with the fastest time of the morning heats, 15:40.96. Anthony Pannier of Sarcelles was seventh in 15:42.88, and Igor Dupuis of Mulhouse, who also swam in the morning, finished eighth with 15:43.40.
Women’s 50 Freestyle Final
- French Record: Malia Matella (Toulouse), 24.58, 2009
- 2014 National Champion: Anna Santamans (Nice), 25.01
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 25.23
Anna Santamans of Nice, who has been battling injuries, pulled it all together for a superb ending to an otherwise difficult week. She won the women’s sprint in 24.82, only 1/100 off her best time, thus earning a bid for Kazan. Lauriane Haag of Toulouse was runner-up with 25.36, a PB by .45. Marseille’s Béryl Gastaldello added a bronze medal to her collection, touching in 25.41, her best time by .5.
Nice’s Marie Wattel finished fourth in 25.75 (best by .2), a mere 2/100 ahead of Anouchka Martin of Marseille (25.77). Mélanie Henique of Amiens/Marseille was sixth in 25.86 (best by .06). Cloé Hache of Nice (25.88) and Maria Eléna Letang of Paris-INSEP (26.30) rounded out the final.
Men’s 50 Freestyle Final
- French Record: Frédérick Bousquet (Marseille), 20.94, 2009
- 2014 National Champion: Florent Manaudou (Marseille), 21.70
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 22.25
Florent Manaudou won the men’s 50 free as anticipated, but not with the time he had hoped. After a disappointing week, Manaudou decided to throw all his proverbial eggs in the basket on Sunday, and shaved for the first time in the championships. He put up a world-leading 21.57 in prelims, but only managed a 21.70 to win the event in the evening. Having hoped to go 21.2-21.3 in finals, Manaudou was visibly disappointed.
On either side of Manaudou were his Marseille teammates Fabien Gilot and Clément Mignon. Mignon had finished third in both the 100 and the 200 frees during the week, swimming under Kazan qualifying standards both times but failing to make the French team as only the top two are selected. He got his chance in the 50 free, though, as he came to the wall in 22.08, just .05 in front of Gilot’s 22.13. It was the second personal best in a row for the young Marseille freestyler, who came into the meet with a seed time of 22.45 then went 22.34 in prelims. Gilot, too, improved on his seed time of 22.38 twice; he went 22.31 in prelims before the 22.13 third-place finish in finals.
Oussama Sahnoune of Algeria, who trains with Talence, placed fourth in 22.44. Yonel Govindin of Toulouse went 22.56 for fifth, just .02 ahead of Nosy Pelagie of Bron (22.58). Eddie Moueddene of Amiens placed seventh in 22.77, and Kevin Tonnerre of Nautic Club ALP ’38 was eighth in 23.07.