2018 French Nationals Saint-Raphaël Day 4: CR for Mathilde Cini in 100 Back

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 4

After four days of competition at French Elite National Championships in Saint-Raphaël, the list of qualifiers for 2018 European Championships in Glasgow now includes:

  1. Cyrielle Duhamel (400 IM)
  2. Lara Grangeon (400 IM)
  3. David Aubry (400 free, 1500 free))
  4. Roman Fuchs (200 free, 400 free)
  5. Charlotte Bonnet (50 free, 200 free)
  6. Anouchka Martin (50 free)
  7. Jérémy Stravius (50 back, 100 free)
  8. Marie Wattel (100 fly, 200 free)
  9. Théo Bussière (100 breast)
  10. Nans Roch (200 fly)
  11. Fanny Deberghes (100 breast, 200 breast)
  12. Béryl Gastaldello (50 back)
  13. Mathilde Cini (50 back, 100 back)
  14. Mehdy Metella (100 free)
  15. Damien Joly (1500 free)
  16. Stanislaus Huille (100 back)
  17. Paul-Gabriel Bedel (100 back)
  18. Margaux Fabre (200 free)
  19. Fantine Lesaffre (200 breast)
  20. Jordan Pothain (200 free)
  21. Jonathan Atsu (200 free)

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 (French) swimmers in the final of that event, will be selected to represent France in Glasgow.

Men’s 400 IM

  • Euro 2018 qualifying standard: 4:19.82 in prelims; top-4 in finals
  1. Jeremy Desplanches (SUI) (Olympic Nice Natation / Pôle France Natation Course Nice) 4:13.94
  2. Samy Helmbacher (Dauphins Obernai) 4:20.70
  3. Mathis Castera (Dauphins Toulouse OEC / Pôle France Natation Course CREPS Toulouse) 4:22.26
  4. Antoine Marc (Mulhouse ON / Pôle France Natation Course Mulhouse) 4:23.47

There were no qualifiers for the European Championships in the men’s 400 IM. Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches won the event by nearly 7 seconds in 4:13.94, about 9/10 off his time from the same meet a year ago. The title of French Champion went to Samy Helmbacher in 4:20.70, a best time by .47.

Women’s 200 Breast

  • Euro 2018 qualifying standard: 2:28.59 in prelims; top-4 in finals
  1. Fantine Lesaffre (Montpellier Métropole Natation / Pôle France Natation Course Marseille) 2:26.76
  2. Fanny Deberghes (ASPTT Montpellier) 2:27.09
  3. Camille Dauba (CN Sarreguemines) 2:30.15

The women’s 200 breast provided a lot of excitement. Not traditionally one of France’s stronger events, there was reason to celebrate this year. Fantine Lesaffre, who is having a great meet so far but had failed to qualify for Glasgow, belted out a lifetime-best 2:26.76 to win the 200 breast, an event in which she placed 8th in 2017. Lesaffre went 2:33 in prelims last year, although at the time her PB was a 2:29.21 from 2016. At the beginning of April this year, Lesaffre went 2:29.13 at Golden Tour Marseille. To qualify for Glasgow, she had to hit another lifetime best in prelims this morning. And she did just that. Lesaffre went 2:28.16, finishing second behind Fanny Deberghes (2:28.02). With both women now qualified to swim the event at Euros, they attacked tonight’s final with gusto. Deberghes, whose seed time was 2:28.67, went out first in the final, turning at the halfway point in 1:10.5, a good half-body length in front of Lesaffre. But the latter’s second half was nails. She made up half the deficit on the third 50, then passed Deberghes for the win over the final 50.

Lesaffre – 33.99-37.20-37.77-37.80 = 2:26.76
Deberghes – 33.23-37.31-38.11-38.44 = 2:27.09

As if it weren’t enough to qualify two 200 breaststrokers for Glasgow, the next bit of good news came in the form of 13-year-old Justine Delmas of CNO St-Germain-en-Laye. Seeded 22nd with 2:37.35, Delmas dropped an astounding 2:34.62 in prelims to break the French National Age Group Record for 13-year-old girls (which she had set in March with 2:37.35) and qualify fifth for the A final. In finals, before the paint was even dry on her record, she took another 3.4 seconds off to finish 5th with 2:31.23.

Men’s 50 Fly

  • Euro 2018 qualifying standard: 23.60 in prelims; top-4 in finals
  1. Mehdy Metella (CN Marseille / Pôle France Natation Course Marseille) 23.63
  2. Maxime Grousset (Amiens Métropole Natation / Pôle France Natation Course Amiens) 23.64
  3. Julien Henx (LUX) (Cercle des Nageurs de Talence) 23.96
  4. Pierre Henry Arrenous (ASPTT Poitiers / Pôle France Natation Course Paris INSEP) 24.09

The big surprise here was the absence of qualifiers for Glasgow. Jeremy Stravius had scratched the event, but there was still plenty of competition to push frontrunner Mehdy Metella. Metella won the event by 1/100 over Maxime Grousset, but neither hit the 23.60 needed in prelims to punch a ticket to Euros.

Women’s 100 back

  • Euro 2018 qualifying standard: 1:01.44 in prelims; top-4 in finals
  1. Mathilde Cini (Valence Triathlon / Pôle France Natation Course Marseille) 1:00.45
  2. Valériya Egorova (RUS) (Montpellier Métropole Natation) 1:01.77
  3. Louise Lefebvre (Mulhouse ON / Pôle France Natation Course Mulhouse) 1:01.97
  4. Camille Gheorghiu (Montpellier Métropole Natation / Pôle France Natation Course Antibes) 1:02.15

Mathilde Cini not only qualified for Glasgow, but she also broke the Championship Record in the 100 back with her first foray into sub-minute territory, going 59.98 in prelims. While a half second off that time in finals, she nonetheless won the event with her third-best time ever.

Louise Lefebvre, who finished fifth in the 50 back with a girls 15-year-old NAG of 28.85, lowered the 100 back mark twice today. First she broke Pauline Mahieu’s NAG of 1:02.18 in prelims with 1:02.04; then she shaved another .07 off in finals with 1:01.97, placing third overall and second on the French podium.

Men’s 200 Free

  • Euro 2018 qualifying standard: 1:48.29 in prelims; top-4 in finals
  1. Alexandre Derache (Amiens Métropole Natation / Pôle France Natation Course Amiens) 1:48.35
  2. Jordan Pothain (Nautic Club Alp’38) 1:48.76
  3. Roman Fuchs (Amiens Métropole Natation / Pôle France Natation Course Amiens) 1:49.00
  4. Jonathan Atsu (Dauphins Toulouse OEC / Pôle France Natation Course CREPS Toulouse) 1:49.06
  5. Remi Meresse (Dauphins Toulouse OEC / Pôle France Natation Course CREPS Toulouse) 1:49.32

The men’s 200 free showed off France’s depth with three individual qualifiers for European Championships. With Clément Mignon, Jérémy Stravius, Mewen Tomac, and Mehdy Metella scratching the event the field was wide open. Jonathan Atsu (1:47.48), Jordan Pothain (1:48.97), and Roman Fuchs (1:48.26) all rose to the challenge in prelims, coming in under the required 1:48.29 to make the cut for Glasgow.

In finals, it was Alexandre Derache who earned the title of National Champion, stopping the clock at 1:48.35, a time that was 1.1 seconds faster than his seeding. Fuchs and Remi Meresse both broke 1:50 for the first time.

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

Table n°2: Relay Qualifying Time Standards

Women’s Relays, Men’s Relays  
3:43.07 4 x 100 free 3:18.65
4:05.15 4 x 100 medley 3:39.00
8:01.02 4 x 200 free 7:15.84
3:28.76 4 x 100 free 3:28.76
3:50:29 4 x 100 medley 3:50:29



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andy majeske
4 years ago

I think you have a typo on the euro qualifying time in the mens 200 free–it must be 1.49.29–otherwise there would have been no qualifiers…

Reply to  andy majeske
4 years ago

Andy – don’t forget, the qualifying standards are based on PRELIMS swims not FINALS swims. It’s a very bizarre system, but it is the case. You can read more here: https://swimswam.com/2018-french-nationals-saint-raphael-preview-and-links/

andy majeske
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

got it, thanks-you are right, -that is very a very weird way to do it…

bobo gigi
4 years ago

Today why not dreaming?
Charlotte Bonnet breaks the 53-second barrier in the 100 free! And Marie Wattel second in 53 mid.

bobo gigi
4 years ago

Best day of competition so far. Some rays of light. The youth is coming! French swimming prepares Paris 2024 much more than Tokyo 2020. They rebuild and it will take much time. But with young talents like Grousset, Bussière, Lefebvre or Delmas (6.12s time drop in one day in the 200 breast!) we can be confident for the future. Happy to see Lesaffre make the team. Cini second French woman ever to break the minute in the 100 back after Laure Manaudou. The girls are making the headlines this week. Good women’s medley relay in perspective with Cini, Gastaldello, Deberghes, Wattel, Bonnet and the others. Good depth in the men’s 200 free too. Hope is back. 🙂

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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