2021 French Olympic Trials: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


It’s night 1 of racing at the 2021 French Elite Swimming Championships and France’s fastest swimmer will be vying for a spot on the 2021 French Olympic team. There will be 6 individual events tonight beginning with the men’s 400 IM, followed by the women’s 100 fly, men’s 400 free, women’s 200 IM, and men’s 100 breast

Follow along here to keep track of the events and find out who has managed to nab a spot on the Olympic team.


  • French Record: 4:14.97 – Léon Marchand (2021)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 4:21.46 in prelims and 4:15.84 in A-final







After missing the event at the 2021 European Championships due to a sprained finger, Leon Marchand made his comeback here count and swim a 4:09.65 to annihilate his own French record in the event of 4:14.97. That’s a major improvement for Marchand who only set that record a few months ago in March.

The time is well under the 4:15.84 he needed to qualify for the Olympics, making Marchand the first official qualifier for the French Olympic team at this meet.

The swim for Marchand places him in the top 5 worldwide rankings for the event this season.

2020-2021 LCM Men 400 IM

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Marchand has now become the 3rd Olympian in his family as his father, Xavier Marchand swam at both the1996 and 2000 Olympics while his mother Céline Bonnet raced at the 1992 Games.

Marchand was, however, the only man to get under the Olympic qualifying standard as Emilien Mattenet swam a 4:17.50 for the silver medal while Jaouad Syoud hit a 4:19.02 for bronze.

That swim for Mattenet was a bit off his PB of 4:16.45 from March 2021 while Syoud recorded his 2nd best time of the day, hitting a 4:20.58 in the morning which was quicker than his March 2021 PB of 4:22.48.


  • French Record: 56.89 – Aurore Mongel (2009)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 59.66 in prelims and 57.92 in A-final




Swedish swimmer Louise Hansson posted the fastest time in the women’s 100 butterfly final with a 57.05 to snag the gold medal. Hansson was a little bit over her PB in the event which sits at a 56.73 from earlier this year at the 2021 Stockholm Swim Open.

Hansson is qualified to race the 100 fly for Sweden at Tokyo 2020 and will be potentially heading up the event for her country if teammate Sarah Sjostrom is unable to enter due to her elbow injury.

Hansson recently medaled in the event at the 2021 European Championships with a 57.56 for bronze. There, France’s Marie Wattel took gold with a 57.37 to tie Greece’s Anna Ntountounaki.

Wattel swam alongside Hansson again tonight and was the second-fastest woman in a 57.88. Wattel will win gold as Hansson represents Sweden internationally. Wattel had already qualified for Tokyo in this event but got under the qualifying standard of 57.92 again.

Wattel’s teammates Beryl Gastaldello and Charlotte Bonnet were among those gunning for the second spot on the team in the event but neither were successful tonight. Gastaldello, who is currently qualified for Tokyo in the 100 free, swam a 58.33 for the silver medal while Bonnet took bronze in a 58.63.


  • French Record: 3:43.85 – Yannick Agnel (2011)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 3:53.58 in prelims and 3:46.78 in A-final



Tunisia’s Ayoub Hafnaoui raced to victory in the men’s 400 freestyle final and hit a 3:46.16 which mark a new best time for him, improving upon the 3:47.79 he swam at the Monte Carlo stop of the 2021 Mare Nostrum swim series last month.

While Hafnaoui posted the top time of the night, gold went to the fastest Frenchman Joris Bouchaut who was a 3:47.37. That swim gets Bouchaut the gold medal but won’t be fast enough to book him a ticket to Tokyo as he trailed the qualifying standard of 3:46.78 by less than a second.

Bouchaut’s best time in the event heading into the meet was a 3:48.14 from earlier this year meaning that he hit a new lifetime PB. Bouchaut was joined on the podium by Logan Fontaine who swam a 3:48.75 for the silver medal and Marc-Antoine Olivier who was a 3:49.26 for bronze.


  • French Record: 2:09.37 – Camille Muffat (2009)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 2:16.54 in prelims and 2:12.56 in A-final






While Great Britain’s Candice Hall held onto the lead over the first half of the race, France’s Cyrielle Duhamel and Fantine Lesaffre both used their strong breaststroke legs to their advantage and managed to pull off a 1-2 finish.

Duhamel nabbed gold with a 2:11.57 while Lesaffre came in with a 2:12.47 for the silver medal. Both of those times are under the country’s Olympic qualifying standard of 2:12.56 in the event meaning the country will likely send both of them to represent France in Tokyo for the women’s 200 IM.

Duhamel’s swim was actually a new PB, improving upon the 2:12.12 that she recently posted at the 2021 European Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Lesaffre on the other hand was a bit over her best time in the event which sits at a 2:11.70 from French Nationals back in 2019.

Camille Dauba took bronze here with a 2:12.89 while British swimmer Candice Hall came in with a 2:13.22 for 4th place.


  • French Record: 58.64 – Hugues Duboscq (2009)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 1:01.73 in prelims and 59.93 in A-final







In the men’s 100 breaststroke final 1st and 2nd place finishers, Theo Bussiere and Antoine Viquerat both improved upon their prelim times but neither of them got under the Olympic qualifying standard of 59.93.

Bussiere was a 1:00.25 to take the gold medal, getting down from a 1:00.65 in the morning while Viquerat hit a 1:00.49, cracking 1:01 for the first time today after his morning swim of 1:01.28.

After the leading duo, Carl Aitkaci came in with a 1:01.13 for the bronze medal and Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches came in with a 1:01.50.

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Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

You can watch the finals here.
Click on Natation 17h30

Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

I’m sure that our qualification system looks pretty incomprehensible for Americans.
2 selection meets
4 swimmers already pre-qualified (Manaudou 50 free, Hénique 50 free, Gastaldello 100 free, Wattel 100 fly)
Qualifying times to do in prelims and finals
Even for me it’s complicated. 🙂

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

Rhoooo Bobo Gigi it’s not that complicated ! Basically, you have to swim fast in the heats… and swim even faster in the final ! Ali that’s left is to reintroduce semi-finals and it will be perfect!

Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

Marchand is flying in the 400 IM!

Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

French national record demolished!

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago


Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

Congrats, faster than Borodin at Euro Champs. Great performance.

3 months ago

That was fast!!!!

Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

That was not expected.

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

He had no choice given the minimums set for the 400 IM.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  VAKer29
3 months ago

He had to swim under 4.15.84.
4.09 is another world.

Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

Léon Marchand goes to Arizona State next season.
I imagine the comments of some French swim fans if Marchand’s progression is stopped in the next years.
They have already accused Bob Bowman of killing Agnel’s career. 😆

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

With this 4.09.6 it’s a great progression so far, considering his 4.16.3 at Junior Worlds 2019: nearly 7 seconds faster in 22 months.

Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

Louise Hansson wins the women’s 100 fly in 57.05.
Marie Wattel second in 57.37. She’s in hard training period as she’s already qualified.
Béryl Gastaldello third in 58.33. She doesn’t look good.

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

Has Gastaldello qualified officially yet?

Last edited 3 months ago by wow
Reply to  wow
3 months ago

Yeah, she’s qualified in the 100 free so far and has a chance to qualify in the 50 free and 100 back later in the meet