2016 French Elite Nationals in Montpellier: Day 6 Finals 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
  • List of French qualifiers for Rio
  • Championship Central


Women’s 200 Meter Backstroke – Final

  • French record: 2:06.64 4/26/2008 Dunkerque (FRA), Laure Manaudou (22), Mulhouse ON
  • French standard for Rio: 2:08.44 (FINA A: 2:10.60)
  • French standard for Europe: 2:12.33

Top-seeded Camille Gheorghiu of Montpellier Métropole/Antibes was .02 off her seed time but earned a ticket to European Championships by winning the women’s 200 back in 2:12.14. It was a great was to end the week; she had been rather vocal about her disappointment, especially in the 100 back. Now she will have another chance in May to get under the FINA A standard, although it still seems unlikely that France will be able to qualify its women’s 4×100 medley relay.

Fantine Lesaffre of Mulhouse had a much better finals swim, coming within .38 of her seed time to finish second with 2:14.01. Pauline Mahieu of St-André/Font-Romeu was third in 2:14.97, a personal best by .27.

Cyrielle Duhamel of Stade Béthune Pélican Club dropped 2.2 seconds to clock a 2:15.04 and secure fourth place by .02 ahead of Lara Grangeon of Calédoniens/Font-Romeu. Monaco’s Lisa Pou went 2:15.97 for sixth, taking another second off her personal best for a total of 2 for the day.

Auriane de Premilhat of Marseille (2:16.30, PB by 8/10) and Anaïs Podevin of Dauphins Toulouse (2:17.31, PB by exactly 1 second) rounded out the A final.

Men’s 100 Meter Butterfly – Final

  • French record: 51.24 8/8/2015 Kazan (RUS), Mehdy Metella (23), CN Marseille
  • French standard for Rio: 51.61 (FINA A: 52.36)
  • French standard for Europe: 52.52

Anyone who was overly surprised by the outcome of the men’s 100 fly hasn’t been paying attention this week. Jérémy Stravius, the reconverted 100 back World Champion from Amiens has lit the Antigone pool on fire all week. With no pressure to perform, he took on the 100 fly for the fun of it. But his goal was always to win the event, and that’s just what he did. Stravius went a personal-best 51.66 to clock the seventh time of the season, in an off-event.

2015-2016 LCM Men 100 FLY

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Mehdy Metella, the defending champion and French record-holder in the distance, was .10 off his winning time from 2015 with 51.74. Although it was good enough for second place it missed the French standard for Rio (51.61).

Third place went to Joeri Verlinden of Netherlands in 52.57. Paul Lemaire of Dauphins Toulouse came in fourth in 53.20, just ahead of Jordan Coelho of Vanves/Antibes (53.24).

Paul Pijulet of Dauphins Toulouse, who place in the 50, went a lifetime-best 53.40 for sixth.

Flavien Aubry of Créteil Natation (53.74) and Marvin Maisonneuve of Montauban Natation (54.09) were seventh and eighth.

Women’s 100 Meter Freestyle – A Flight

  • French record: 53.49 4/24/2009 Montpellier (FRA), Malia Metella (27), Dauphins Toulouse OEC
  • French standard for Rio: 53.72 (FINA A: 54.43)
  • French standard for Europe: 55.17

Charlotte Bonnet of Nice, who qualified for Rio in the 200 free, had no pressure in the 100 free. She won with 53.93, .01 better than her seed time which came from her win in the event last year. Béryl Gastaldello of CN Marseille again finished second, although a bit slower this year with 54.10.

The big surprise came from Mathilde Cini of Valence/Marseille, who went a lifetime-best 54.44, dropping 1.13 seconds and, in effect, qualifying the women to swim the 4×100 free relay in Rio. Fourth place went to Anna Santamans of Olympic Nice; she went 55.11, which was better than her morning swim but just off her personal best. Still, adding up the top four times yields 3:37.58, which falls well within the criterion of 3:37.64. This is the only relay the French women were able to qualify for Rio.

The rest of the A final consisted of Lena Bousquin of Bordeaux Bastide (55.37, best by 7/10); Margaux Fabre of Aqualove Sauvetage Montpellier (55.38); Cloé Hache of Nice (55.46); and Assia Touati of Dauphins Toulouse (56.05).

Men’s 50 Meter Freestyle – Final

  • French record: 20.94 4/26/2009 Montpellier (FRA), Frédérick Bousquet (28), CN Marseille
  • French standard for Rio: 21.82 (FINA A: 22.27)
  • French standard for Europe: 22.26

This is the event that half the Marseille team has been training for all year, and they didn’t disappoint: the entire podium was made of CNM teammates. Florent Manaudou won the race with 21.42, which while not the personal best he was hoping for, nonetheless moves him to second in the world so far this season.

2015-2016 LCM Men 50 Free

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Manaudou now has four months to concentrate on his 50 free, having failed to qualify for Rio in the 100 distance. He admitted being conflicted about that failure; on the one hand his goal had been to repeat Alexander Popov’s feat of winning both the 50 and the 100 in the same Olympic Games, but on the other, his true love is the 50 free and now he could concentrate on it.

The big surprise of the day was a rejuvenated Frédérick Bousquet, who posted the 14th time in the world with his second-place finish of 22.09. Teammate Clément Mignon moved up two spots in world rankings to 20th with his third-place 22.22. Yonel Govindin of Dauphins Toulouse robbed Marseille of a sweep of the top four slots, edging Fabien Gilot 22.38 to 22.45.

Eddie Moueddene of Amiens placed sixth in 22.52, ahead of EMS Bron’s Nosy Pélagie (22.70) and Ganesh Pedurand of Dauphins Toulouse (22.84).


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7 years ago

I think France will get three medals in the Olympics: men’s 4×1 free gold. Manadou likely gold but since it is 50 anything can happen and one in the men’s 100 free (probably bronze).

7 years ago

Does this mean that Florent Manaudou still has a chance to swim 100 free at Olympics? Or not?

I do not know whether I understood the principles of the French federation in the selection of additional swimmers?

7 years ago

Interesting week for the French.

Big names by & large delivering but too few youngsters making time drops. Gheorghiu & Gastadello may force Cini to switch to freestyle as 54.4 is very respectable conpared to her 100bk. Disappointed in Mahieu – What happened?

7 years ago

The up-/downvotes for some reason dont work anymore.
I just wanted to downvote all of Bobo’s comments …

7 years ago

Some times are still really fast:
50 free: 25.58 for a girl born in 2002
100 free: 55.87 for a girl born in 2002
200 free: 1:57.69 for a girl born in 1999 and 1:57.61 for a girl born in 2000
400 free: 4:04.94 for a girl born in 2000
800 free: 8:23.45 for a girl born in 1998 and 8:25.02 for a girl born in 2000
100 back: 1:00.02 and 1:00.07 for girls born in 1999, 1:00.89 for a girl born in 2002
200 back: 2:07.42 for a girl born in 1999, 2:11.69 for a girl born in 2002
200 IM: 2:08.81 for a girl born in 1999
400 IM:… Read more »

Reply to  thomaslurzfan
7 years ago

Fast times but not “crazy fast”… Very believable and not surprising! Italy have some really great young swimmers – I really like Simona Quadarella, she reminds me very much of Paltrinieri.

On talk of Juniors – Watch out for Tia Ward. 12 year old who went 8.57 for 800FR in her first swim of 2016 last month… PB by 15 seconds. She trains out of Leeds who have a really good recent record of producing great youngsters under Richard Denigan (Sophie Taylor & Georgia Coates). She also went 2.20 in both 200 back & fly last year as an 11 year old. Respectable 2.48 breaststroke last year too – At her age at least.

Watch for this girl –… Read more »

Reply to  Dee
7 years ago

I thought that those were long course times, thats why i thought that those times are extremely fast. Quadarella had times of 4:04 and 8:23 in short course this week.

7 years ago

So how many swimmers that made the Fina A cut are going to be left home? Thats the real question that should be answered. Who did they screw over. But I think maybe if someone can barely make the A cut by a small margin then maybe it should be up to the federation to decide on these swimmers because they are just one swim and they are done almost for certain.

7 years ago

I just saw some crazy fast times from italian junior championships, but i hope that they are not true. The progression in italian swimming in many events is really “surprising” …

Reply to  thomaslurzfan
7 years ago

I think those times are short course, at least thats what i hope, otherwise i would be really scared.

Reply to  thomaslurzfan
7 years ago

Where are the results?

Reply to  thomaslurzfan
7 years ago

it’s short course, and how is that surprising?

Reply to  ITALIAN
7 years ago

I thought that those were long course times and therefore i was shocked …

Here is the results link:

7 years ago

I think swimswam’s site might have a bug. I noticed that if I up arrow Bobo’s comments, the down arrow count also increases by 1 or 2. I tried up arrowing other people’s comments and it did not change the down arrow count.

Reply to  swimmermama
7 years ago

It’s not an error. The count just updates when you click it. So between the time you loaded the page and when you clicked the up arrow, 1-2 people down voted his comment.

northern sue
Reply to  swimmermama
7 years ago

I’ve wondered about this too. Just out of curiosity, I tried it out on an old article (one where there shouldn’t be a lot of traffic still on the page), and I still got multiple down arrows when I tried to click on the up arrow.

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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