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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5 years ago

I hope Gastadello qualifies in the 100 free, at least a relay position? I think she’ll go 54.3 or better.

bobo gigi
5 years ago

Women’s 200 back final

Time to do 2.08.44

1. Camille Gheorghiu in 2.12.14
2. Fantine Lesaffre in 2.14.01
3. Pauline Mahieu in 2.14.97

No olympic qualification

bobo gigi
5 years ago

Men’s 100 fly final coming up

Metella huge favorite. His PB is 51.24
Stravius will try to bother him.
Time to do 51.66

Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Very interesting result. Stravius is on fire. Metella will be part of the relay, but will he also be allowed to compete individually?
Will Stravius swim free or fly in the medley relay? I think Stravius swimming fly and Mignon swimming free would be better for the french relay, but Metellas slow time is not a good news for the french relay. USA is about 1s faster in fly and about 2s faster in breast. At this point i really dont see how France wants to beat China, USA, GB and Australia, especially China and USA are much faster on paper.

bobo gigi
5 years ago

Stravius 51.66! Big new PB

Metella 51.84 Bad performance but he will be saved.

Verlinden 3rd in 52.57

5 years ago

Metella does not need saving, he is already qualified in the 4x100m free.

Reply to  Iain
5 years ago

Would he not need saving for an individual event?

bobo gigi
5 years ago

Stravius most versatile French swimmer in history.
And nobody talks about him in French media. 😆

He has just said he didn’t target any qualification in that event.
But he swam it for a medley relay spot on fly if coaches ask him.

bobo gigi
5 years ago

Women’s 100 free final coming up

Hopefully one French girl can at least break 54.
Last year Bonnet won in 53.94 ahead of Gastaldello in 53.98.
Time to do 53.72

5 years ago

Let’s see what the girls can do in the final 100meter freestyle …
Hope Bonnet and Gastalldello under 54 and Santamans nder 54.5 … Cini and Hache under 55 not out of reach !
Maybe the qualification will me harder to achieve for both Bonnet and Gastalldello !

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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