2016 French Elite Nationals in Montpellier: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap

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 200 Meter Breaststroke – A Flight

  • French record: 2:25.19 4/24/2009 Montpellier (FRA), Sophie De Ronchi Turban (24), ES Massy Natation
  • French standard for Rio: 2:23.78 (FINA A 2:26.94)
  • French standard for Europe: 2:27.87

100 free champion Fanny Deberghes of ASPTT Montpellier continued to shine with a field-topping 2:30.35 in the first event of Day 4 in Montpellier. She comes in with a seed time of 2:28.08, so even a European Championships qualification will take a personal-best, but with Lara Grangeon having scratched the event, Deberghes is the clear favorite to defend her 2015 title and sweep the breaststroke events. Camille Dauba of CN Sarreguemines went 2:31.24 for the morning’s second-fastest time of the three A-flighted heats. Laura Paquit of ASPTT Limoges came in third in 2:31.47.

Fantine Lesaffre of Mulhouse was just off her seed time with a 2:31.53 morning swim for fourth. Teammates Coralie Dobral and Géraldine Huffner of Montpellier Métropole qualified fifth and sixth with 2:32.63 and 2:33.59, respectively. Huffner dropped 2/10 to make the top eight.

If no one is faster in the B flights later this morning, the last two slots of the A final will belong to Nolwenn Herve of Canet 66/Font-Romeu (2:33.86) and Adeline Martin of Antibes (2:34.35).

French record-holder Sophie De Ronchi Turban went right at her seed time to qualify for the B final in 2:36.85

Men’s 100 Meter Breaststroke – A Flight

  • French record: 58.64 7/27/2009 Rome (ITA), Hugues Duboscq (28), CN Le Havre 27/07/2009
  • French standard for Rio: 59.84 (FINA A 1:00.57)
  • French standard for Europe: 1:01.17

Top-seeded Giacomo Perez Dortona of Marseille put up a solid 1:01.34, only 1 second off his seed time, to lead the morning qualifiers through the first heats of men’s 100 breast. Perez Dortona is the defending champion and strongest candidate to make the Rio team, but he has yet to dip below the 1:00 mark. Thibaut Capitaine, runner-up in the 100 breast on Day 2, qualified second with a personal-best 1:01.66; Capitaine dropped .80 to jump from seventh seed to second qualifier. Thomas Dahlia of Antibes, runner-up in this event last year and bronze medalist in Wednesday’s 200 breast final, went 1:01.85 for third.

Theo Bussière of Marseille qualified fourth in 1:02.24, within 1/10 of his seed time. Teammate Jean Dencausse was fifth in 1:02.47. Basten Caerts of Belgium went 1:02.55 to qualify for the one spot available to an athlete from a foreign delegation. The seventh-fastest time belonged to Vincent Clement of CN Avignon in 1:02.60, while William Debourges, who won the 200 breast on Wednesday, earned the last entry into tonight’s A final with 1:02.62.

Quentin Coton of Antibes, who placed third in this event last year, had a tough morning race, finishing ninth with 1:03.10, 1.5 seconds off his seed time.

Women’s 200 Meter Freestyle – A Flight

  • French record: 1:54.66 6/6/2012 Canet-en-Roussillon (FRA), Camille Muffat (23), Olympic Nice Natation
  • French standard for Rio: 1:56.78 (FINA A 1:58.96)
  • French standard for Europe: 1:59.26

Coralie Balmy of Montpellier Métropole/Antibes, France’s lone qualifier for Rio for the moment, led the field through the A flight with 1:58.65. This is a nice morning swim from Balmy, who was seeded second with 1:57.49. Moreover, her splits of 28.0/30.0/30.3/30.2 seemed effortless. The women’s 200 may rival the men’s 100 free as the final to watch tonight, as it could be one of the few events in which the French women have a strong chance of qualifying two individual contenders for Rio. Nice’s Charlotte Bonnet, who won this event over Balmy last year, qualified second in 1:59.67. This is Bonnet’s main event, and she was one of the sure favorites to make the Rio squad coming into the meet. Bonnet took it out much faster and eased up on her finish, presumably saving energy for tonight. Her splits were 27.3/30.3/30.8/31.0. Bonnet has a nice ability to accelerate from the middle of the pool to the wall on the final 50.

The third qualifier this morning was Aqualove Sauvetage Montpellier’s Margaux Fabre, who went within .25 of her seed time to post a 1:59.67. Camille Gheorghiu of Montpellier Métropole/Antibes clocked a 2:00.50 for fourth. 2015 bronze medalist Cloé Hache of Nice was the fifth through to finals in 2:00.52.

Marion Abert of Dauphins Toulouse dropped .80 in prelims to land in the sixth spot with 2:01.16. Lara Grangeon of Calédoniens/Font-Romeu, who scratched the 200 breast to focus on the 200 free and a possible relay spot in Rio, went 2:01.25 to qualify seventh. The last lane in tonight’s A final, barring faster swims out of the B flights, will belong to Assia Touati of Dauphins Toulouse, who went 2:01.42.

Ophélie-Cyrielle Etienne of Lille Métropole/Marseille was 2.5 seconds off her seed time and led the B final qualifiers with 2:01.56. She will be joined by Nice’s Alizée Morel (2:02.27) and Coralie Codevelle of Sarcelles (2:02.97).

Béryl Gastaldello of Marseille scratched the event; she had been seeded 15th.

The add-up time for a French 4×200 freestyle relay qualification for Rio is 7:51.80, which means an average time of 1:57.95 per swimmer. Given that both Balmy and Bonnet are expected to be 1:56-mid to –high, the next two can be 1:58-highs. There are at least four women capable of hitting that mark. Optimism is high for tonight’s final.

Men’s 100 Meter Freestyle – A Flight

  • French record: 46.94 4/23/2009 Montpellier (FRA), Alain Bernard (26), CN Antibes
  • French standard for Rio: 48.13 (FINA A 48.99)
  • French standard for Europe: 49.18

The men’s 100 free is turning out to be every bit as much of a nail-biter as anticipated. France has an exceptionally deep pool in this event, and the athletes lived up to their billing in prelims. For the most part everyone swam within a second of their seed times, and the field will be tight in tonight’s final: only 1.15 separate the first qualifier from the eighth. Similarly, the eight B final qualifiers are all within a second of each other. Number 16 trails number 1 by 1.7 seconds.

That number one is Marseille’s Clément Mignon who posted a 48.49, just .11 off his seed time. Mignon finished third in this event last year. His teammate Florent Manaudou clocked a solid 48.95 to win his heat this morning. His stated ambition is a 47.4 in finals tonight, and he knew his morning swim would be key to his evening success. So far Manaudou has achieved what he set out to do and is nicely set up in the middle of pool for tonight’s big race. The third of the five Marseille teammates to make the A final was Mehdy Metella; his 48.96 was within 6/10 of his seed time.

Jérémy Stravius of Amiens Métropole came in frouth with 49.12. He won this event in 48.50 over Mignon and Marseille’s Fabien Gilot last year and is very focused on the 100 and 200 freestyles this year. Gilot, meanwhile, qualified fifth with 49.30. Lorys Bourelly of Dauphins Toulouse had a strong morning showing with 49.32 for sixth.

Marseille’s William Meynard was just off his seed time with a 49.42 for seventh, and Mulhouse’s Yannick Agnel took the last spot with 49.64.

The B final tonight will be just as exciting. Grégory Mallet of Marseille, who lacked .09 to make the A final, will be in lane 4 with a qualifying time of 49.73. His teammate Frédérick Bousquet dropped a half-second to qualify tenth overall with 49.75. Eddie Moueddene of Amiens Métropole also dropped time and qualified 11th in 49.96. Tom Paco Pedroni of AS Monaco went 50.19 for 12th. Other B final qualifers were Stephane Debaere of CN Polynésie (50.42), Nosy Pelagie of EMS Bron (50.53), Jonathan Atsu of Dauphins Toulouse (50.62, best by .5), and Théo Fuchs of Amiens (50.74, best by .26).

Jordan Pothain of Nautic Club Alp’38 scratched the event.

Women’s 50 Meter Backstroke – Timed Finals

  • French record: 28.01 8/15/2015 Chartres (FRA), Béryl Gastaldello (20), CN Marseille
  • French standard for Europe: 28.74

Defending champion and French record-holder Béryl Gastaldello of Marseille scratched the 50 back (she also scratched the 100 free), so 2015 runner-up Mathilde Cini had a clear path to victory in this non-Olympic event. Cini, who swims for Valence Triathlon, clocked a 28.58 to win by half a body length. Laurine Del’homme of CN Paris/INSEP and Auriane de Premilhat of Marseille tied for second place with 29.18. Emma Terebo of CN Calédoniens was fourth in 29.26. Fanny Danet of Paul-Bert Rennes went 29.61, edging the rest of the top eight by just a tick: Maëlle Lecanu of Stade Français O Courbevoie (29.66), Lila Touili of Canet 66/Font-Romeu (29.70), and Pauline Mahieu of St-André/Font-Romeu (29.74).





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6 years ago

I agree that swimswam is US centric. sarah sjostrom just swam a 55.68 100 fly with howany comments. The NCAA,s had way more comments. Swimswam covers it best though.

Reply to  carlo
6 years ago

Carlo, sometime a SCY time off time gets more attention than a LCM WR (even a Ledecky one). and some NCAA discussion gather more attention than World or Kazan championships. Seem there are a lot of swim parents and people who only care about their college commenting on some topics.. also that puts some downvotes that are strange. Like, if you root for Schooling just because he is not of my loved College I will downvote you..

tea rex
6 years ago

I see 5 swimmers for the French 4×100: Manaudou, Mignon, Gilot, Metella, Stravius.
With the qualifying procedure, France may be only able to take 4 of them.

I wonder if Stravius should scratch the final – I think(?) he will be eligible for the relay either way, but if a sprinter gets 5th they may have no way onto the team. Not a good idea to only take 4 relay swimmers with no alternates…

bobo gigi
6 years ago

If I remember well, I believe there was another French swim fan last summer on swimswam but I didn’t see him/her come back since then.
I would like to see more French swim fans on the site but it looks like having to read English and speak English is repulsive for most of them. Most of French people are not good friends with foreign languages. :mrgreen:
Sometimes I refrain from speaking French because I seriously lack vocabulary or because I’m irritated by some comments 🙂 but anyway, I try my best.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Swimswam is very US focused too, it makes it less attractive for europeans in general.

Years of Plain Suck
Reply to  Aigues
6 years ago

But many, many international swimmers come to train (and earn an education) at American universities (and beyond). Thus, they have an interest in what happens in the US swim scene.

Like it or not, what happens here has a major influence throughout the swimming world.

SwimSwam covers it best.

tea rex
Reply to  Aigues
6 years ago

I regularly see articles in German language on swimswam (but only on mobile for some reason). Not sure what that is about.

Reply to  tea rex
6 years ago

We actually have German and Spanish language channels. We’re working on the best way to integrate those into our site right now, but you can find them at swimswam.com/deutsch and swimswam.com/espanol

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Aigues, sorry but I can’t reply directly to your comments. I can’t reply directly to any comment anymore since my technical problems. But it would be too long to tell. 😆
Happy to have a compatriot on swimswam. I’m feeling a little bit less alone! :mgreen:

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

A little bit only, I’m not a swimming expert.

Funny fact about Manaudou’s target of 47.40, he said it would be the 2nd fastest time of all time… not very nice for Bernard

Reply to  Aigues
6 years ago

I think he meant textile only, it would be like 6th fastest otherwise.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Rafael, everybody is waiting for the men’s 100 free to wake up these championships.
All those dramas. All those debates about qualifying times. It’s really boring.
Hopefully we talk only about sport today with emotions and fast races.

Manaudou is THE star of French swimming right now. He’s relatively new in the 100 free. Especially in long course. Nobody knows his limits in that event. He targets 47.40. I don’t know. There’s much pressure and swimmers are not very relaxed this week. Let’s see what he has in store. Maybe he will try something crazy with an insane split at half-race. Or he will be wise.
Mignon is very consistent now in 48.30/48.40.
Stravius is a… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

I must say that I am bothered by the fact that Manaudou admitted to regularly taking creatine. It is one of those drugs, like meldonium, which are legal until they no longer are. Legal but unethical. I wonder how fast he would swim without it.

Reply to  Crawler
6 years ago

That is wildly inaccurate

Reply to  Crawler
6 years ago

Creatine is soooooo common. It will ALWAYS be legal. Just like whey protein shakes!

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Pvsfree, thanks.
Aigues, sometimes I go to that site. Not very often but sometimes. Do you contribute to the website?
Are you French? If yes, it’s weird to talk English to a compatriot. 🙂 But since day 1 I’m on swimswam, I promised myself I would never talk French.
There’s not too much about swimming in France. I also read the forum of nat-action.fr.
But I keep my comments only for swimswam! 🙂

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Yes I’m french, I’m not a contributor of the website but the author gives interesting opinions, and seems to know a lot about what he talks about (this is rare in french sports medias, isn’t it?).

His comments about Agnel’s problems are quite weird though.

English speaking website, we talk in english, that’s absolutely normal 🙂

6 years ago

Agnel will retire this week. I can’t see where he can go . The 800 relay is not a medal contender & he has just scraped into the 100 final.

6 years ago

Most expected day! What are the expectations on French TV for today?

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom 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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