2019 French Nationals: Clément Mignon Misses 50 Free QT for Worlds by .01

2019 French Elite National Championships – 50M

Day 6: Sunday 21 April 2019

Men’s 50 Freestyle – Prelims

  • FINA “A” cut: 22.18
  • Time to achieve in prelims to qualify for Worlds: 22.05
  • French record: 20.94 – Frédérick Bousquet (CN Marseille) – 26/04/2009 – Montpellier
  • Top seeds: Yonel Govindin (CN Marseille), 22.13; Maxime Grousset (Amiens Métropole Nat.), 22.14; Oussama Sahnoune (CN Marseille), 22.30

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Clément Mignon – 22.06
  2. Oussama Sahnoune – 22.17
  3. Yonel Govindin – 22.43
  4. Maxime Grousset – 22.47
  5. Tom Paco Pedroni – 22.87
  6. Guillame Guth – 23.06
  7. Max Berg – 23.07
  8. Orhan Dine-Moreira – 23.09

The French hammer has struck again. Of all the near-misses this week, Clément Mignon’s was the most egregious. The Marseille sprinter, although he cleared the FINA “A” cut by .12 in prelims, missed the French qualifying standard for 2019 World Championships in Gwangju by 1/100. According to the French Federation’s selection rules, it took a 22.05 in prelims and a top-2 finish in finals to swim the 50 free individual event at Worlds.

Never mind that he went 21.93 to win the event in finals.

Rules are rules, and .01 may as well be 1.00.

Mignon is one of the most prolific international medalists on the current French National Team. He won gold with France’s 4×100 free relay at 2015 World Championships in Kazan, and also at Short Course Worlds at Doha in 2014. He earned silver medals with the 4×100 free relay at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the 4×100 free at 2016 Short Course Worlds in Windsor, and the 4×50 medley in Doha. And he took bronze in the 4×100 medley in Doha. In European competition, he has two gold medals (4×100 free at 2016 Euros and 4×100 free at 2014 Euros) and three bronze (100 free individual event in 2016, mixed 4×100 medley in 2016, and mixed 4×100 free in 2014).

Over the course of the week in Rennes, Mignon won the 50 free (21.93) and was runner-up in the 100 free (48.54) and the 50 breast (28.05). He qualified to swim the 100 free individually, and as part of the men’s 4×100 free relay, in Gwangju. Presumably he should be able to add the 50 free as his one complementary event as he achieved a FINA “A” cut in prelims.

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3 years ago

It’s tough trying to work out if it’s the French or the Brits that have the most absurd qualifying criteria. Both impose time standards that are faster than the FINA “A” standard with the Brits taking it to a ridiculous level. The French though have the oddity that the time standard must be met in preliminaries. It’s a tough one but I would give it to the French ….. just.

Reply to  straightblackline
3 years ago

Bored of explaining this. Countries other than USA have to create pressure on swimmers in different ways. It’s not complicated.

Reply to  Bob
3 years ago

No one doesn’t understand this is the intent. It’s just that most people realize it’s stupid. They hit the A cut; let them swim. If knowing you have to race Caleb Dressel or Katie Ledecky or Sara Sjostrom doesn’t add enough pressure, then I promise you an arbitrary time standard won’t do the job either. One advantage countries with weaker Trials have is that their elites only have to nail the taper once. Americans have to taper twice out of necessity, and it always hurts at least a couple of our swimmers. Britain and France are seeing that, and then volunteering to have the same disadvantage.

3 years ago

The French Federation really doesn’t want to be internationally successful, do they

3 years ago

And there you have it folks. Glad he’ll go either way, but if he hadn’t already gotten in this would’ve killed his chances at a 21.7 this summer. If anything a afternoon prelims morning finals would’ve worked out better, to focus on being fast in the afternoon to make it 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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