2016 French Elite Nationals in Montpellier: Day 1 Prelims

2016 French Elite Long Course National Championships and Olympic Trials Selection Meet

  • Dates: Tuesday, March 29 – Sunday, April 3, 2016
  • Times: prelims 9:00 am, finals 6:15 pm
  • Location: Montpellier, France (GMT +1, or 6 hours ahead of N.Y., 9 ahead of L.A.)
  • Live results: Available
  • Live streaming: Available on beIN Sports
  • Championship Central

Women’s 400 Meter Individual Medley

  • French record: 4:37.55 4/5/2015 Limoges (FRA), Lara Grangeon (24), CN Calédoniens
  • French standard for Rio: 4:35.40

Lara Grangeon of Calédoniens/Font-Romeu put up the morning’s fastest qualifying time as expected, going 4:42.59, 5 seconds off her best-ever performance, that which set the French national record in finals at this meet last year. Grangeon’s 400 this morning was 8.1 seconds faster than her prelims swim last year; the difference is entirely in the second half of her race. In fact she was out easier by a second in both the fly and back, and improved by 4.2 seconds in the breast and 5 in the free over last year’s prelims. She is unlikely to be pushed in tonight’s final so it will be Grangeon vs the clock for the coveted ticket to Rio.

Coming in second was Mulhouse’s Fantine Lesaffre with 4:46.85. That’s 8 seconds off her entry time and 2.6 behind her prelims swim last year. Lesaffre had a stunning 400 IM in Marseille on the third leg of the Golden Tour, and is capable of giving Grangeon a run in the final. Qualifying third was Cyrielle Duhamel of Stade Béthune Pélican Club. She dropped 4.9 seconds and broke the national age group record for 16-year-old girls with her 4:48.60.

The rest of the championship final will consist of Coralie Codevelle of Sarcelles (4:54.84), Claudia Gadea from Romania (4:57.35), Alice Aubrey of Metz (4:58.19), Mulhouse’s Julie Berthier (4:58.89), and Alexia Saurel of Nantes (5:00.07).

The eighth-fastest time belonged to 13-year-old Azzahra Permatahani of Indonesia who trains at CNO St-Germain-en-Laye; she dropped a second to clock a 4:59.52 but being the second foreigner in the top 8, she will have to swim in the B final.

Men’s 200 Meter Individual Medley

  • French record: 1:57.89 4/11/2013 Rennes (FRA), Jérémy Stravius (25), Amiens Métropole Natation 11/04/2013
  • French standard for Rio: 1:58.09

It’s difficult to speculate exactly what Jérémy Stravius’ plans were for the 200 IM, but because he has only talked about the 100 and 200 free with the press, it is logical to assume that his presence in this morning’s prelims was just a warm-up; a chance to practice coming home with a fourth 50 under 27. If so, he did just that. Stravius swam an easy 2:06.00 in prelims with 26.9 on the end, qualifying for the B final with the 12th-fastest performance of the morning but showing himself he has the ending speed, even after a tough 50 breast.

Defending champion Ganesh Pedurand of Toulouse posted the morning’s top time of 2:02.90, slightly ahead of his 2015 prelims swim. Tunisia’s Taki M’rabet, who trains at Courbevoie, was improved his seed time by 4/10 to qualify second in 2:03.52. Pedurand’s Toulouse teammate Geoffrey Renard dropped 9/10 and qualified third with 2:04.38.

Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches, who trains in Nice, was only 3 seconds off his seed time for the fourth-fastest 2:04.44, but being the second athlete from a foreign delegation, he will have to swim in the B final tonight. The rest of the championship final will be made up of Nice’s Ambroise Petit (2:04.80), Cyril Chatron of Bron/Font-Romeu (2:05.19), Quentin Coton of Antibes (2:05.40), Damien Gwizdz of Canet 66/Font-Romeu (2:05.60), and Guillaume Laure of Antibes, who was runner-up to Pedurand in this event last year (2:05.64).

Women’s 100 Meter Butterfly

  • French record: 56.89 7/27/2009 Rome (ITA), Aurore Mongel (27), Mulhouse ON
  • French standard for Rio: 57.67

Things went much as expected in the women’s 100 fly. American record-holder Kelsi Worrell led the field with 57.80, only 6/10 off her seed time. Nice’s Marie Wattel was second in 58.71, only .36 off her time and within realistic shooting range of the Rio standard. Marseille’s Béryl Gastaldello went 59.78, a little faster than in prelims a year ago. Gastaldello took another second off her time in finals last year, losing to Wattel by .22. She, too, is a contender for the Rio spot.

Justine Bruno of Beauvaisis/Amiens (1:00.96), Margo Fabre of Aqualove Sauvetage Montpellier (1:01.02), Laurine Del’homme of CN Paris/INSEP (1:01.25), Enora Collet of Rennes (1:01.72), and Anais Arlandis of Nice (1:01.74) round out the A final.

The best story of the morning session belonged to Sophie Turban De Ronchi, still the French record-holder in all three distances of breaststroke. Representing CNS Vallauris, the 30-year-old dropped a full second in the 100 fly and moved from 19th on the start list to ninth overall, qualifying for the B final with 1:01.97, only .23 away from the A final.

Men’s 1500 Meter Freestyle – Slower Heats

  • French record: 14:55.17 8/11/2010 Budapest (HUN), Sébastien Rouault (24), Mulhouse ON
  • French standard for Rio: 14:57.19

The top three times of the 50 morning 1500s belonged to Paul Barascud of Marseille with a 13-second improvement for 15:22.95; Théo Cacheux of Mulhouse with a best-by-14 15:24.31, and Rouen’s Benjamin Brantu with 15:27.69, a 10-second improvement.

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bobo gigi

57.67 for Marie Wattel looks out of reach on paper. But we never know. Hopefully she can take advantage of Kelsi Worrell’s presence to at least break 58. And if she breaks 58 maybe they will save her. She’s young and could learn a lot from a first olympic experience. Anyway that idea of saving a swimmer depending on the good will of the national team director is not very clear right now. Within 1 tenth of a second of the standard, she’s saved? 0.15s off the standard, not saved? Hopefully it’s not “if your face fits”. Stravius wanted just to take a bath on that first day. No worries at all about his 2.06 in the 200 IM. I… Read more »

bobo gigi

Looks like comments take a lot of time to appear today. Much more than usual. At least for mine.


Is there a psych sheet on the website? I am having trouble finding it.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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