2019 French Elite Nationals: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

Pellegrini Federica Italy

2019 French Elite National Championships– 50M

Day 3: Thursday 18 April 2019

Women’s 1500 Freestyle

  • FINA “A” cut: 16:32.04
  • Time to achieve in prelims to qualify for Worlds: 16:22.63
  • French record: 16:03.01 – Laure Manaudou (CN Melun Val de Seine) – 14/05/2006 – Tours


  1. Lara Grangeon, CN Calédoniens – 16:18.63
  2. Aurélie Muller, CN Sarreguemines – 16:32.90
  3. Adeline Furst, Dauphins Obernai – 16:41.07

Defending champion Lara Grangeon led from start to finish and dominated the women’s 1500 free final in Rennes. She was out in 1:01 and then split seven 1:05-lows in a row before settling into a 1:05-high/1:06-low pattern for the next six 100s. She came home in 1:04 to clock a 16:18.63 which, had she achieved it in prelims, would have qualified her to swim the event for France in Gwangju. As it was, Grangeon went 16:42.57 to put up the fastest qualifying time in prelims on Wednesday. Grangeon was seeded with 16:23.27.

Second to the wall was Aurélie Muller in 16:32.90. She had been third in prelims with 16:43.24, having come into the meet seeded third with 16:36.95. Adeline Furst earned the bronze medal swimming out in lane 8. After swimming 17:10.65 in prelims, Furst went 16:41.07 to touch third.

Men’s 50 Breaststroke

  • FINA “A” cut: 27.39
  • Time to achieve in prelims to qualify for Worlds: 27.08
  • French record: 27.36 – Giacomo Perez Dortona (CN Marseille) – 22/04/2009 – Montpellier


  1. Théo Bussière, CN Marseille – 27.62
  2. Clément Mignon, CN Marseille – 28.05
  3. Thibaut Capitaine, Cergy Pontoise Natation – 28.28

Marseille’s Théo Bussière, on the mend from shoulder surgery last fall, successfully defended his 2018 title in the 50 breast and was even faster. Last year he won in 27.80. This time around he went 27.62 to pick up his second win of the week. Bussière claimed the national title in the 100 breast on Tuesday (1:00.31). Marseille sprinter Clément Mignon went 28.05 to touch second, coming to the wall just ahead of last year’s bronze medal-winner Thibaut Capitaine (28.28).

Women’s 50 Breaststroke

  • FINA “A” cut: 31.22
  • Time to achieve in prelims to qualify for Worlds: 30.74
  • French record: 30.96 – Sophie de Ronchi (ES Massy Natation) – 22/04/2009 – Montpellier


  1. Fanny Deberghes, ASPTT Montpellier – 31.54
  2. Solène Gallego, Canet 66 Natation – 31.84
  3. Justine Delmas, CNO St.-Germain-en-Laye – 32.38

Fanny Deberghes and Solène Gallego repeated their 1-2 finish from a year ago but there was a newcomer on the third step of the podium, 14-year-old Justine Delmas of St.-Germain-en-Laye. This marks the second time the age-grouper has stood on the podium this week; she won bronze in the 100 breast on Wednesday, breaking both the 14 and 15 girls’ national age group records with 1:10.47.

Deberghes won the event in 31.54, or .12 faster than her gold-medal performance of 2018. With 31.84, Gallego was also faster than she’d been last year (32.13). Deberghes won the 100 breast on Wednesday, as well. Gallego was disqualified in the final.

Men’s 50 Backstroke

  • FINA “A” cut: 25.17
  • Time to achieve in prelims to qualify for Worlds: 24.89
  • French record: 24.07 – Camille Lacourt (CN Marseille) – 12/08/2010 – Budapest (HUN)


  1. Jérémy Stravius, Amiens Métropole – 24.92
  2. Stanislaus Huille, SN Versailles – 25.33
  3. Paul-Gabriel Bedel, CN Marseille – 25.35

After having satisfied the first half of the French selection criteria for World Championships by swimming a 24.65 in morning heats, Jérémy Stravius formally punched his ticket to Gwangju by winning the event in finals with 24.92 (the time didn’t matter; he only needed to finish among the top 2). Stravius is the defending champion in this event; his winning time in 2018 was 25.01. Stanislaus Huille touched second in 25.33, just .02 ahead of 2018 bronze medalist Paul-Gabriel Bedel from Marseille.

Stravius’ morning swim ranks him #3 in the world so far this season.

2018-2019 LCM MEN 50 BACK

24.35 *WJR
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Women’s 200 Freestyle

  • FINA “A” cut: 1:58.66
  • Time to achieve in prelims to qualify for Worlds: 1:58.03
  • French record: 1:54.66 – Camille Muffat (Olympic Nice Natation) – 06/06/2012 – Canet-en-Roussillon


  1. Charlotte Bonnet, Olympic Nice Natation – 1:56.57
  2. Margaux Fabre, Canet 66 Natation – 1:58.86
  3. Joana Desbordes, SFO Courbevoie – 1:59.43

Nice’s Charlotte Bonnet, who had already qualified to represent France in this event at World Championships by virtue of having medaled in the 200 free at 2018 European Championships, defended her national title in her signature event with 1:56.57. That ranks her 6th in the world for the season underway.

2018-2019 LCM WOMEN 200 FREE

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Margaux Fabre, who missed the cut-off by half a second in prelims with 1:58.54, was runner-up in 1:58.86. Third place went to Joana Desbordes of Courbevoie in 1:59.43, a huge improvement for the 18-year-old whose best time coming into the meet was 2:01.72. Desbordes went 1:59.99 in heat to break the 2:00 barrier for the first time. Assia Touati placed fourth in 1:59.97

Because there is bound to be a great deal of discussion around the women’s 4×200 free relay, it’s worth reviewing the French rules for relay qualification. As stated in the FFN’s documentation and explained here, the women needed add-up times of 7:56.24 in prelims, using the results of the 2nd through 5th finishers out of morning heats. As shown in the table below, the top 5 times out of the morning, ascribed to -in order- Bonnet, Fabre, Desbordes, Touati, and Alizée Morel, did not make the cut. #2-#5 (as specifically stated in the rules) added up to 8:00.38. Even if you took the top 4 times, from Bonnet’s 1:57.54 to Touati’s 2:00.90, you’d only get 7:56.97. Technically, the fact that the top four times in finals added up to 7:54.83 should be irrelevant. But the final decision rests with the National Technical Director, and it wouldn’t be the first time that France threw out the rules to accommodate more swimmers.

Prelims   Prelims   Finals  
2nd 1:58.54 1st 1:57.54 1st 1:56.57
3rd 1:59.99 2nd 1:58.54 2nd 1:58.86
4th 2:00.90 3rd 1:59.99 3rd 1:59.43
5th 2:00.95 4th 2:00.90 4th 1:59.97
Add-up 8:00.38 Add-up 7:56.97 Add-up 7:54.83

[Note: the original text reads as follows. 2.2 Relais 4 x 100 & 4 x 200 nage libre dames , 4 x 100 nage libre messieurs : seront proposés à la sélection les cinq premiers nageurs à l’issue des séries lors des Championnats de France Elite, à condition que le temps de qualification (à l’addition des temps individuels) du tableau ci-dessous, soit réalisé par les nageurs classés de la seconde à la cinquième place.]

Men’s 200 Butterfly

  • FINA “A” cut: 1:56.71
  • Time to achieve in prelims to qualify for Worlds: 1:56.43
  • French record: 1:54.62 – Franck Esposito (CN Antibes) – 04/2002 – Chalon-sur-Saône


  1. Jeremy Desplanches (SUI), Olympic Nice Natation – 1:57.58
  2. Léon Marchand, Dauphins Toulouse – 1:58.60
  3. Matthias Marsau, Dauphins Toulouse – 1:59.20

The final of the men’s 200 fly ended the session with a big exclamation mark. Olympic Nice’s Jeremy Desplanches broke the Swiss National Record with his winning time of 1:57.58. That is his second NR of the meet; he lowered his own 400 IM Swiss record on Tuesday. CN Antibes’ Arthur Cachot took it out first, turning in 26.15 at the 50 and 55.87 at the 100. Desplanches was right behind, at 55.91 for the 100. Only a couple of tenths off the leaders was 17-year-old Léon Marchand of Toulouse, whose 1:59.98 in prelims broke the National Age Group Record. Desplanches took over the lead with his third 50. At the 150 wall, it was Desplanches, followed by Marchand 8/10 back, and then Cachot and Matthias Marsau, also from Toulouse, who had pulled even with Cachot.

Desplanches came home in 31.0 to Marchand’s 31.3 and Marsau’s 31.5. Marchand lowered his new NAG to 1:58.60, coming to the wall 6/10 ahead of Marsau. Cachot faded to fourth and barely held off Logan Fontaine of Vikings de Rouen, 2:01.60 to 2:02.08.

Desplanches earned the gold medal but Marchand was crowned French National Champion at 17.

Qualified individually for Gwangju:

Women Event Men
  50 free  
Charlotte Bonnet 100 free Mehdy Metella
Charlotte Bonnet 200 free  
  400 free  
  800 free  
  1500 free David Aubry, Damien Joly
  50 back Jérémy Stravius
Béryl Gastaldello 100 back  
  200 back  
  50 breast  
  100 breast  
  200 breast  
  50 fly  
Marie Wattel 100 fly Mehdy Metella
  200 fly  
  200 IM  
Fantine Lesaffre 400 IM  


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3 years ago

Where’s Bobo?

3 years ago

What’s the idea behind countries holding impossible qualifying times? Genuinely curious.

Reply to  Leisurely1:29
3 years ago

Lack of money? South Korea is pretty far from Europe

3 years ago

okay so the french qualifying times are sometimes faster than the french national record? Can’t they just stick to the Fina A cut? i find it weird that there’s a lack of swimmers but they don’t loosen their qualifying times

Swim Addict
3 years ago

Hasn’t been very elite

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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