2018 French Nationals Saint-Raphaël – 9 Qualify for Euros on Day 1

2018 French Elite Long Course Nationals at Saint-Raphaël

  • Tuesday, May 22 – Sunday, May 27, 2018
  • Stade Nautique Alain Chateigner
  • 50m
  • Prelims at 9am local/Finals at 6pm local (Saturday 5:30, Sunday 5:45)
  • Selection for European Championships
  • Televised on beIN SPORTS
  • Meet Central
  • Start Lists
  • Live Results

Day 1

The French Elite National Championships kicked off today in Saint-Raphaël, France. The meet serves as the selection for the 2018 European Championships this August in Glasgow, and nine swimmers met the FFN’s qualification standards on the first day. Those include:

  1. Cyrielle Duhamel (400 IM)
  2. Lara Grangeon (400 IM)
  3. David Aubry (400 free)
  4. Roman Fuchs (400 free)
  5. Charlotte Bonnet (50 free)
  6. Anouchka Martin (50 free)
  7. Jérémy Stravius (50 back)
  8. Marie Wattel (100 fly)
  9. Théo Bussière (100 breast)

As a reminder, the FFN’s criteria for making the French squad for European Championships are as follows: The four fastest swimmers who achieve, in prelims, the qualifying times in Table 1 below AND who place among the top four eligible (i.e., French nationality) swimmers in the final of that event, will be selected to represent France in Glasgow.

Women’s 400 IM

  • Euro 2018 qualifying standard: 4:43.42 in prelims; top-4 in finals
  1. Fantine Lesaffre (Montpellier Métropole Natation / Pôle France Natation Course Marseille) 4:38.98
  2. Cyrielle Duhamel (Stade Béthune Pélican Club) 4:41.14
  3. Lara Grangeon (CN Calédoniens / Pôle France Natation Course Nice) 4:44.16

It was a bittersweet victory for Fantine Lesaffre, who failed to qualify for Glasgow by half a second with a morning time of 4:43.92. While her evening swim of 4:38.98 was 4.5 seconds under the standard, the French Federation made it clear that the qualifying times were to be achieved in prelims here in Saint-Raphaël. The goal of course is to train French elite swimmers to qualify for more international finals by going fast in the morning. Still, it was a gutsy swim for Lesaffre who knew she wouldn’t qualify in the event but nevertheless put up a great race in the final. Touching behind her were Cyrielle Duhamel and Lara Grangeon. Both met the qualifying standards for Euro 2018 by swimming faster than 4:43.42 in prelims (they went 4:42.21 and 4:40.02, respectively) and placing among the top 4 in finals.

Men’s 400 Free

  • Euro 2018 qualifying standard: 3:49.46 in prelims; top-4 in finals
  1. David Aubry (Montpellier Métropole Natation) 3:48.81
  2. Logan Fontaine (Club Vikings de Rouen/Pôle Espoirs Natation Course Rouen) 3:50.13
  3. Roman Fuchs (Amiens Métropole Natation/Pôle France Natation Course Amiens) 3:50.44

David Aubry lowered the PB he had achieved in prelims (3:48.85) to win the men’s 400 free with a new lifetime best of 3:48.81. His morning swim qualified him for Glasgow along with Roman Fuchs (3:49.19 in prelims). Fuchs finished third in the final with 3:50.44, just behind open water specialist Logan Fontaine (3:50.13). Fuchs was encouraged by his swim and stated in the post-race press conference that he was looking forward to the 1500 free.

Women’s 50 Free

  • Euro 2018 qualifying standard: 25.33 in prelims; top-4 in finals
  1. Charlotte Bonnet (Olympic Nice Natation / Pôle France Natation Course Nice) 24.78
  2. Anouchka Martin (CN Marseille / Pôle France Natation Course Marseille) 25.24
  3. Lena Bousquin (CN Marseille / Pôle France Natation Course Marseille) 25.43

Charlotte Bonnet punched her first ticket to Glasgow, winning the 50 free in 24.78 (24.81 in prelims). She had said in an interview on Monday that her goals for Saint-Raphaël were to qualify for Euros in the 50 free, 100 free, and 200 free and to lower her French national record in the 100 free.

Anouchka Martin (25.24) et Lena Bousquin (25.43) placed second and third in the final, although only Martin had cleared the qualifying time of 25.33 in prelims (she went 25.24). Marie Wattel, who swims for Montpellier Métropole Natation but goes to school and trains at Loughborough University, went 25.31 in prelims but didn’t swim the final. Marseille sprint specialists Mélanie Henique (25.42 in prelims) and Béryl Gastaldello (25.43 in prelims) didn’t meet the qualifying criteria.

Men’s 50 Back

  • Euro 2018 qualifying standard: 25.20 in prelims; top-4 in finals
  1. Jérémy Stravius (Amiens Métropole Natation / Pôle France Natation Course Amiens) 25.01
  2. Maxence Orange (Nantes Natation) 25.45
  3. Paul-Gabriel Bedel (CN Marseille / Pôle France Natation Course Marseille) 25.47

Jeremy Stravius was the lone Glasgow qualifier in the men’s 50 back. The only one to break 25.20, he did it in both prelims and finals with 24.85 and 25.01, respectively. Maxence Orange edged Paul-Gabriel Bedel by .02 in the final to earn a silver medal in the distance.

Mewen Tomac (Amiens Métropole Natation / Pôle Espoirs Natation Course Amiens) lowered the French National Age Group Record for 17-year-old boys in prelims with the third-fastest time of the morning, 25.61. His teammate Adrien Musart (Amiens Métropole Natation / Pôle Espoirs Natation Course Amiens) broke the NAG for 16-year-old boys in prelims, going 25.97 for the 8th-fastest time of the morning.

Women’s 100 Fly

  • Euro 2018 qualifying standard: 59.11 in prelims; top-4 in finals
  1. Marie Wattel (Montpellier Métropole Natation) 58.35
  2. Margaux Fabre (Canet 66 Natation) 59.85
  3. Laurine Del’homme (CNO St-Germain-en-Laye / Pôle France Natation Course Paris [INSEP]) 1:01.02

Marie Wattel punched her ticket to Glasgow with an easy win in the women’ 100 fly with 58.35, after having gone 58.66 in prelims. She was unhappy with her performance, though, and said after the race, “I was a little disappointed with my time. I would have liked to swim a 57. Still, it equals my second-fastest time but it’s never easy to swim “’alone.’”

Second place went to Margaux Fabre in 59.85, although she was not able to meet the qualifying criteria in prelims with her morning swim of 59.65.

Men’s 100 breast

  • Euro 2018 qualifying standard: 1:01.30 in prelims; top-4 in finals
  1. Théo Bussière (CN Marseille / Pôle France Natation Course Marseille) 59.46
  2. Wassim Elloumi (TUN) (SO Millau Natation / Pôle Espoirs Natation Course Limoges) 1:01.83
  3. Thibaut Capitaine (Cergy Pontoise Natation) 1:01.86
  4. Antoine Viquerat (Dauphins Toulouse OEC / Pôle France Natation Course CREPS Toulouse) 1:02.08

Théo Bussière cracked a big 59.46 to take down the Championship Record and log his first sub-minute 100 breast. He was the only qualifier for Glasgow in the event (1:00.27 in the morning, nearly 2 seconds ahead of prelims runner-up Thibaut Capitaine). Tunisia’s Wassim Elloumi edged Capitaine for second place in the final, 1:01.83 à 1:01.86. Antoine Viquerat was the third French swimmer with a time of 1:02.08.

Table n°1: Individual Qualifying Time Standards

Women Event Men
25.33 50m free 22.35
54.91 100m free 49.17
2:00.06 200m free 1:48.29
4:10.48 400m free 3:49.46
8:34.96 800m free 7:57.62
16:28.00 1500m free 15:07.71
28.48 50m back 25.20
1:01.44 100m back 54.86
2:13.03 200m back 2:00.42
31.14 50m breast 27.64
1:08.79 100m breast 1:01.30
2:28.59 200m breast 2:12.75
26.14 50m fly 23.60
59.11 100m fly 52.78
2:11.85 200m fly 1:58.11
2:14.99 200m IM 2:01.34
4:43.42 400m IM 4:19.82


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2 years ago

There is a generational gap, and despite relatively easy time standards, the men didn’t do well at all.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Crawler
2 years ago

That’s the normal level of French swimming. What happened in the last 10 years thanks to 5 or 6 stars was not normal.

2 years ago

At least they aren’t requiring National Records to qualify like they did a couple years ago. Some brain stem figured if they made the qualifying times ridiculous, the swimmers would rise to the challenge. Instead, it destroyed the French swim program. Good to see them back on track.

Reply to  Scribble
2 years ago

It was a system that has worked elsewhere, im different sports, but French Swimming didnt have the resources or talent pool to do so – It was ludicrous!

David Berkoff
Reply to  Dee
2 years ago

Like Germany and Canada?

Coach John
Reply to  David Berkoff
2 years ago

I don’t think canada ever had more than one event QT being under a NR. I could be wrong (where are teh stats geeks)

2 years ago

I enjoy how the first event showed how dumb the qualifying criteria are

Reply to  Random123
2 years ago


bobo gigi
Reply to  Random123
2 years ago

We have sent enough “tourists” who have slept in the morning prelims at last international competitions. I hope the young Lesaffre will learn the lesson. She’s talented and I’m sure she will quickly rebound to make the team thanks to another event.

Reply to  bobo gigi
2 years ago

Wait the morning sessions qualify and the night sessions are meaningless? What a dumb system.

Thomas Selig
Reply to  SVIRD
2 years ago

Not quite. You still have to finish in the top 4 in the finals to make the team, though it’s hard to see many events where someone could hit the QT in the morning and be so much slower in the evening that they don’t even place in the top 4.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

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