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.
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.
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).