2016 French SC Nationals Day 3: Stravius Punches His Ticket To Windsor

2016 French Short Course National Championships

  • Dates: Thursday, November 17 – Sunday, November 20, 2016
  • Times: prelims 9 am, finals 5:30 pm
  • Location: Angers, France (GMT +1, or 6 hours ahead of N.Y., 9 ahead of L.A.)
  • Results: Available

If we are being truly honest, Day 3 of the French Short Course National Championships wasn’t the fastest. There were only four qualifiers for World Championships in three events: Jérémy Stravius (50 fly), Mathilde Cini (100 back), and Anna Santamans and Mélanie Henique (50 free). Surprisingly, no one made the auto cut in the men’s 200 free, and the French continue to struggle in IM and breast.

Women’s 800 Meter Freestyle – Fastest Heat

  • RF: 8:01.06 MUFFAT Camille OLYMPIC NICE NATATION 16/11/2012 ANGERS (FRA)

Defending champion Sharon van Rouwendaal of Netherlands won the 800 free, albeit a bit off her time from a year ago. Van Rouwendaal hurt her foot during the 1500 on Thursday evening and, while she has recovered enough to finish the meet, she isn’t quite as fast as she has been. Van Rouwendaal was seeded with 8:16.53, her winning time from last year. This year she went 8:23.89.

The French national champion title went to runner-up Alizée Morel of Dauphins Toulouse; she finished in 8:26.69, dropping about 3.3 seconds but still missing the qualifying mark for Windsor.

Men’s 50 Meter Butterfly – Final

  • RF: 22.09 MANAUDOU Florent CN MARSEILLE 23/11/2014 MONTPELLIER (FRA)

Like last year, half the lanes of the sprint fly were inhabited by Marseille teammates; unlike last year it was the Amiénois, Jérémy Stravius, who ascended to the top of the podium. Stravius edged defending champion Mehdy Metella of Marseille, 22.75 to 22.91, to avenge his Thursday loss in the 100 fly and punch his first official ticket to Windsor. Marseille’s Clément Mignon finished third in 23.47.

Tying for fourth with 23.83 were Marseille’s Yonel Govindin and Nicolas Vermorel of CN Polynésie. Vermorel, who was entered with 24.44, dropped exactly .50 to qualify fourth out of prelims, while setting the French national age group record (17 years) with 23.94. He dropped another .11 in finals for a total of .61.

Women’s 200 Meter Butterfly – Final

  • RF: 2:03.22 MONGEL Aurore MULHOUSE ON 10/12/2009 ISTANBUL (TUR)

Marie Wattel, who swam for Nice last year but has since moved to Montpellier Metropole, edged defending champion Lara Grangeon of Calédoniens, who moved to Nice this season. Wattel was runner-up in 2015, and while they reversed the finishing order of a year ago, both women were 4-5 seconds slower. With their respective times of 2:09.29 and 2:09.64, they were both about 3 seconds off qualifying for World Championships in the 200 fly. Van Rouwendaal was third with 2:11.69, exactly 10/100 faster than her fourth-place finish of 2015.

Men’s 400 Meter IM – Final

  • RF: 4:06.85 STRAVIUS Jérémy AMIENS METRO. NAT. 16/11/2012 ANGERS

Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland lowered his own national record of 4:08.15, set in December of 2014, winning the men’s race in 4:07.47. Antibes teammates Guillaume Laure (4:15.46) and Ambroise Petit (4:16.82) followed, and were fêted on the podium along with bronze medal-winner Geoffrey Renard of Toulouse (4:18.49).

Women’s 100 Meter Backstroke – Final

  • RF: 57.16 MANAUDOU Laure CN MARSEILLE 12/12/2008 RIJEKA (CRO)

Mathilde Cini of Valence Triathlon, who trains in Marseille, beat her seed time by 3/100 to win the 100 back in 58.73. Cini qualified for Windsor in the 100 back, which gives her two events now after making the time standard with her second-place finish in the 50 back. Valériya Egorova of Russia, who trains with Montpellier Metropole, finished second in 59.11. 17-year-old Pauline Mahieu of St-André/Font-Romeu, who won this event last year with a big PR of 58.69, finished third in 59.94.

Louise Lefebvre of Mulhouse broke the national age group record (13 years) twice on Saturday; she went 1:02.94 in prelims to just sneak into the B final, then 1:02.85 in finals to finish 15th overall.

Men’s 100 Meter Breaststroke – Final

  • RF: 56.78 PEREZ DORTONA Giacomo CN MARSEILLE 03/12/2014 DOHA (QAT)

In the absence of now-retired Giacomo Perez Dortona, Marseille teammates Jean Dencausse and Théo Bussière battled for the national title in the 100 breast. Dencausse, third on the podium last year behind Perez Dortona and Bussière, got this win this time with 59.31 to Bussière’s 59.42. Both were faster last year, and neither met the qualifying standard for Windsor. Third place went to Thomas Dahlia of Antibes in 59.73.

Carl Aitkaci of SFO Courbevoie broke another national age group record (15 years); after his 200 breast record on Friday, he attacked the 100 mark as well. Aitkaci first broke it in prelims with 1:02.54, before lowering it to 1:02.39 in finals.

Women’s 200 Meter Breaststroke – Final

  • RF: 2:21.55 DE RONCHI Sophie ES MASSY NATATION 28/12/2008 SAINT-PAUL (FRA)

Camille Dauba of Sarreguemines won the 200 breast with 2:24.23, 7/10 fast than she had been a year ago when she came from behind to take second place in this race by 1/100. Laura Paquit, who swims for Lyon Metropole but trains in Limoges, was second in 2:26.53. Solène Gallego of Dauphins Toulouse picked up the bronze medal with 2:27.23.

Men’s 200 Meter Freestyle – Final

  • RF: 1:39.70 AGNEL Yannick OLYMPIC NICE NATATION 18/11/2012 ANGERS

This was one of the most exciting races last year, featuring Yannick Agnel, Stravius, Metella and Jordan Pothain. Agnel won, and the other three went best times, giving great hope to the French 4×200 free relay. This year Pothain of Nautic Club Alp’38 got the win (1:44.36), just ahead of Marseille’s Clémént Mignon (1:44.65). Mignon put together a strong second half, but he couldn’t make up the lead Pothain had built up over the first half of the race. Pothain was 7/10 off the Windsor qualifying standard; Mignon, 1 second. Pothain said afterwards, “The time is well below my expectations, even though I thought I had a good race. It’s a win, and that makes me happy, and I hope I will be able to swim the 200 at World Championships.” Note: Pothain qualified in the 400 free on Thursday.

Women’s 50 Meter Freestyle – Final


The most interesting thing to come out of the post-Rio musical chairs is the gathering of female sprint talent in Marseille. Over the last Olympic cycle the club had become synonymous with the French men’s team, but Romain Barnier has made it clear he is happy to train the women, too. Henique was the first to make Marseille her training home, two years ago. Cini, who swims for Valence, and Anouchka Martin also took up residence in Marseille last year. Now, with the arrival of French national record-holder Anna Santamans, the women’s 50 free final looks a lot like the men’s: that is, half the lanes are occupied by CNM caps.

Henique won this event in an upset of Santamans last year, but the latter took back the title this time. Santamans finished with 24.30 to Henique’s 24.35, and both earned automatic bids to Windsor. That makes three for Henique: 50 free, 50 back, and 50 fly. Lena Bousquin of ASPTT Toulouse was third in 24.93, while Martin finished fourth in 25.12.

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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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