2021 French Olympic Trials: Day 3 Finals Live Recap

2021 FRENCH ELITE SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

It’s time for day 3 finals at the 2021 French Elite Swimming Championships and there will be another 5 events in which swimmers will be hoping to qualify for the Olympic Games.

In the men’s 800 freestyle there were 3 men under the necessary prelims standard on day 2 who will be in contention to join David Aubry who has already qualified for Tokyo in the event. Marc-Antoine Olivier led the pack in the prelims with a 7:54.80, ahead of Joris Bouchaut‘s 7:56.82. A little bit further out but not out yet was Tommy-Lee Camblong who was an 8:03.42 during the heats.

The 200 freestyle prelims were led on the men’s side by Jordan Ponthain and on the women’s side Charlotte Bonnet. Both have yet to qualify for the Games. They will be back tonight to try and clinch an Olympic-qualifying standard and victory but will need to fend off some solid fields.

Leon Marchand and Fantine Lesaffre are among those who qualified for Tokyo earlier on in the 400 IM and 200 IM respectively. Both will be in the running to add a second Olympic event to their roster this summer as they head into the men’s 200 fly and women’s 400 IM A finals.

MEN’S 800 FREESTYLE – PRELIMS

  • French Record: 7:42.08 – David Aubry (2019)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 8:04.90 in prelims and 7:50.28 in A-final

It was Tunisia’s Ayoub Hafnaoui who delivered the quickest time in the men’s 800 freestyle final, swimming a 7:45.24 which is an improvement upon his PB heading into the meet of 7:49.09. Hafnaoui also got within 10 seconds of the current Tunisian record in the event of 7:35.27 which is held by Tunisian freestyle legend Oussama Mellouli, set back in 2009.

The French title, however, went to the fastest French man in the heat Logan Fontaine who hit a 7:52.31 to improve upon his 7:57.25 PB in the event from a few weeks ago at the Canet stop of the 2021 Mare Nostrum Swim Series.

While he took the gold medal, Fontaine was a little bit slower than what he needed to auto-qualify for Tokyo which sits at a 7:50.28. That means that no men were successful in their goal of joining David Aubry who has already qualified for Tokyo in the event.

Joris Bouchaut followed in the final with a 7:54.67 for the silver medal while 2020 Olympic-qualified 10 km open water swimmer Marc-Antoine Olivier took the bronze in a 7:59.18.

WOMEN’S 50 BREASTSTROKE – FINAL

  • French Record – 30.96 – Sophie de Ronchi (2009)

Fanny Deberghes managed to pick up a second straight national title in the breatstroke here, adding to her 100 breaststroke victory earlier in the week. Desberghes jumped up from her 4th place finish during the prelims to swim a 31.80 for the gold. That was nearly a second faster than her morning swim of 32.36.

Justine Delmas also matched her finish from the 100 breast here, picking up silver in the 50 with a 32.17. That swim for Delmas was actually the exact same time that she swam during the prelims.

Delmas couldn’t quite crack 32 in the event but managed to hold off third-place finisher Auréane Devaluez who posted a 32.24 to nab the bronze medal. Solène Gallego and Maghan Foruin followed the leading trio with a 32.30 and a 32.32 for 4th and 5th, respectively.

MEN’S 200 FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • French Record: 1:43.14 – Yannick Agnel (2012)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 1:50.23 in prelims and 1:47.02 in A-final

It was absolutely down to the wire here as Jordan Ponthain and Jonathan Atsu battled it out, stroke for stroke, until the very last second. Ultimately, Ponthain pulled out the win with a 1:46.93, just 0.04 seconds ahead of Atsu’s silver medal-winning 1:46.97.

It looks like both men will be heading to Tokyo this summer to race the event individually as they both got under the FINA A and French qualifying standard of 1:47.02.

The duo will be taking over for 2 of France’s greatest swimmers over the past few Olympic cycles. Jeremy Stravius and Yannick Agnel swam the 200 for France at the most recent Olympic games, placing 11th and 19th place, respectively. Agnel is known for his incredible performance at the 2012 Olympics where he won gold in the 200 freestyle with a 1:43.14, setting a new French record that still stands today.

Considering that France is qualified to race the men’s 4×200 freestyle at the Olympics this summer, it is likely that they will also take 3rd and 4th place finishers to swim that race for them.

Bronze here went to Hadrien Salvan who notched a 1:47.61 while 4th place was Enzo Tesic with a 1:48.04.

WOMEN’S 400 IM – FINAL

  • French Record: 4:34.17 – Fantine Lesaffre (2018)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 4:46.89 in prelims and 4:38.53 in A-final

Fantine Lesaffre managed to get to the wall first with a 4:41.97 in the women’s 400 IM, picking up her first French title of the meet. While she won gold, Lesaffre was a bit slower than the French Olympic qualifying standard of 4:38.53.

Considering that Leasaffre has already qualified for the 200 IM and posted a 4:38.40 at the 2019 World Championships which was within the Olympic qualifying standard, there is a case to be made for her to contest the event in Tokyo. That decision will, however, at the discretion of the selection committee.

Lara Grangeon was a close second, finishing just over a second after Lesaffre with a 4:43.00 to take the silver medal. Grangeon, also slower than the Olympic cut, has not yet qualified for Tokyo in pool swimming, having missed the cut by a few seconds in the women’s 1500 freestyle earlier on in the meet. She has, however, qualified to race the 10 km open water event due to her 4th place finish in the event in 2019.

Lea Musser was a 4:57.42 to collect the bronze medal while Emma Lebre rounded out the top 4 with a 4:59.12.

MEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY – FINAL

  • French Record: 1:54.62 – Franck Esposito (2002)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 1:59.97 in prelims and 1:56.48 in A-final

Leon Marchand got it done here in the men’s 200 butterfly and swam an Olympic-qualifying 1:55.40 for the French title. That was a big improvement for Marchand upon his prelim swim in the event of 2:00.51. Marchand has now qualified to race both the 400 IM and 200 butterfly at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Marchand’s swim was nearly a second faster than his previous PB in the event of 1:56.33 which he set earlier this year. Marchand continues to get closer to one of France’s oldest national record which sits at a 1:54.62 from Franck Esposito back in 2002.

Following Marchand, Swiss swimmer Jeremy Desplanches posted a 1:58.20 to shave a little bit of time off his 1:58.89 in the prelims. That’s still a bit slower than the 1:55.18 Swiss record that Noè Ponti recorded earlier this year at the 2021 European Championships.

Neither of the 2nd or 3rd place French men in the A final were able to crack the 1:56.48 Olympic cut. Matthias Marsau was the closest with his silver medal-winning 1:58.25 while Moyan Taylan wasn’t too far behind with a 1:58.64 for bronze.

WOMEN’S 200 FREESTYLE – FINAL

  • French Record: 1:54.66 – Camille Muffat (2012)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 2:00.80 in prelims and 1:57.28 in A-final

Just as Marchand did in the 200 fly, Charlotte Bonnet was able to get her hand on the wall in a time fast enough to win a national title and qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Bonnet swam a 1:56.67 which was under the 1:57.28 that she needed in order to make the trip to Japan this summer.

Having raced at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, this will be Bonnet’s 3rd Olympic Games. In 2016 she placed 6th overall in the 200 freestyle with a 1:56.29 and in 2012 only swam the 100 free individually, placing 20th overall with a 55.12.

Bonnet did, however, contribute to the bronze medal-winning 4×200 freestyle relay back in 2012 and contributed a 1:57.78 in the final.

Bonnet’s swim here was a bit off her current PB in the 200 freestyle which sits at a 1:54.95 from the 2018 European Championships in 2018.

Assia Touati got just under 2 minutes in the final, hitting a 1:59.70 for the silver medal while Russia’s Anna Egorova notches a 2:00.31 for third place. Since Egorova is from Russia, the bronze medal will go to Lucile Tessariol who swam a 2:00.41.

In This Story

45
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
45 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Live stream here
https://channelstream.watch/

Eric the eel > Phelps
1 month ago

the french are setting faster QT than the aussies but the meet is slow as hell

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Eric the eel > Phelps
1 month ago

Swimming is not mainstream here.
The Golden generation of 2004-2013 (Manaudou brother and sister, Agnel, Muffat, Balmy, Bernard, Bousquet, Gilot, Dubosq….) was an anomaly.

Eric the eel > Phelps
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

I’m glad that they put back fina A standard for the trials not like the qualification period, give them a chance to race at the highest stage and create a new golden generation !

Last edited 1 month ago by Eric the eel > Phelps
Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

I forgot to mention Stravius, Lacourt and Amaury “hamburger” Leveaux!

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Eric the eel > Phelps
1 month ago

It’s crazy to think European greats like France and Germany are so, as of late, so pedestrian in swimming.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 month ago

We have been much much much better than Germany in the last 15 years.
And I’m optimistic for Paris 2024. A few young talents emerge.
We will not look terrible at home. And honestly I was afraid of that after Rio.

AnEn
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Not sure what you mean with last 15 years, but currently german swimming is in a clearly better state than french swimming.

AnEn
Reply to  AnEn
1 month ago

Also: France has been better over the last 15 years in general, but certainly not “much much much” better. For example at all of the world championships in the last 15 years (since 2007) combined France won 32 medals and Germany won 22 medals in olympic events. Not sure why you felt the need to use an exaggeration like that, i get the feeling that you don’t really know anything about the state of german swimming (since german swimming objectively is in a better state currently (which of course doesn’t change the fact that both nations are still pretty weak)).

AnEn
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 month ago

I think it is only natural, at least for Germany, not sure what is the reason in France. If you can swim outside for 3 months a year at best, it isn’t surprising that swimming isn’t more popular in Germany. You could as well ask why countries like France or Italy aren’t better in a sport like ice hockey …
Also swimming is one of the most doping prone sports and doping is a very difficult topic in Germany since the end of the GDR, so naturally german coaches are more hesitant to dope their athletes than coaches in many/most other nations.

VAKer29
Reply to  AnEn
1 month ago

For the last ten years, the results of the French team are globally better than those of the German team, but the difference is not so clear.
The German team has never been ridiculous in major international competitions.

AnEn
Reply to  VAKer29
1 month ago

Yes, i never doubted that France did better, but Bobo made it sound as if the difference between those two nations was absolutely huge (as big as the difference between the US and France) and that certainly wasn’t the case. France had huge stars, but never really much depth. Currently Germany is better than France in roughly 2/3 of all individual events.

AnEn
Reply to  Eric the eel > Phelps
1 month ago

I think in many/most events those are the FINA A standards, impossible to set slower standards.

AnEn
Reply to  AnEn
1 month ago

Not sure why anyone would downvote this …
The french standards in men’s 200 free, men’s 200 fly and women’s 200 free are the FINA A standard, it isn’t possible for France to set slower standards.

Last edited 1 month ago by AnEn
Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Let’s hope day 3 is little bit more exciting than day 2.
It was boring yesterday.

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

It’s SLOW

Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Hafnaoui of Tunisia wins the 800 free in 7.45.54.
Fontaine is French champion in 7.52.31.
Bouchaut disappointing in third place.
No new qualified swimmer. 7.50.28 was required.

nuotofan
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

7.45.52 with that huge negative split (3.55.32 at 400 m) is impressive indeed. Grgic (now unfortunately injured and he’ll miss Olympics) won the last Junior Worlds with 7.45.92. Great swim from Hafnoui, an 18 year-old to watch already at Tokyo.

nuotofan
Reply to  nuotofan
1 month ago

Correction: 7.45.54..

Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Bad surprise this morning in prelims with Léon Marchand swimming only 2.00.51 in the 200 fly and missing the qualification. He had to swim 1.59.97. His PB is 1.56.63. Looks like he has not digested mentally his monster 400 IM of 2 days ago.

iceman
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

I don’t know if France will follow the qualification procedure strictly, so is there any chance for Marchand to swim 200 fly in Tokyo, if he gets the finals standard tonight? Considering he’s already qualified.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  iceman
1 month ago

Good question. I’m not aware of that.
Let’s see if he wakes up tonight and swims 1.55.

Joris Bohnson
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

He is already qualified for tokyo so he can swim it I think, 1.55.4 is solid comparing to the us and aus

Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Miracle!
2 French guys qualified in the men’s 200 free!
Pothain had a little bit disappeared in the last years. He’s back by winning the race in 1.46.93.
Atsu second in 1.46.97.
They will represent France in the 200 free.

Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Lesaffre wins the women’s 400 IM in 4.41.97.
7 seconds off her best time.

nuotofan
1 month ago

Leon Marchand 1.55.40 in the 200 fly, faster than Urlando in the Us trial final.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  nuotofan
1 month ago

It’s a little bit unfair to compare. No semifinals here. Very slow prelims. And no pressure in final like in USA.

nuotofan
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

I know perfectly, it was just a comparison. In early 2019 every comparison among Urlando (1.53.8) and Marchand in the 200 fly would have been impossible. Things in Swimming can change rapidly.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  nuotofan
1 month ago

Swimmers develop later in France. Same in tennis.
There are some exceptions but it’s rare.

nuotofan
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

@Bobo: your obvious sentence about the impossible of make a real (homogeneous) comparison, reminded me when Phelps, at Nats 2015 (without semi) swam in the 100 fly final faster than LeClos had made a few days before at Worlds. LeClos pointed out the differences exactly like you made lol

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  nuotofan
1 month ago

I just don’t like compare 2 different formats.
It’s a fact that you are less fresh in final if you swim 2 rounds before.
That’s why it’s also a little bit unfair to Americans to compare Australian olympic trials with US olympic trials. Unless there’s a huge margin of difference that can’t be explained by semis or not. Example : the current women’s 200 free overall level in Australia compared to USA. Australian girls are just better. Semis or not.

nuotofan
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

All that you’ve written is extremely obvious and known, like I wrote before.. I just gave a reference between two results of the last 24 hours. I don’t think that Marchand is stronger than Urlando in the 200 fly: the French swimmer has just swum a time a little bit faster and I noticed that.

STRAIGHTBLACKLINE
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

In some cases not having semis makes it harder. For example, middle distance freestyle in Australia is very strong. Elijah Winnington had to swim a hard 400FS in the morning followed by a hard 400FS that evening. The next day he had to do exactly the same in the 200FS. Would Keiran Smith in the USA have gone 1.45.29 if it was his fourth swim in two days?