2021 French Olympic Trials: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap

2021 FRENCH ELITE SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

We are carrying on with racing at the 2021 French Elite Swimming Championships in Chartres France. As of the end of day 3, the French Olympic roster sits at 14 with 13 individual event swimmers and 1 relay-only competitor.

Today we will get out first look at Olympic gold medalist Florent Manaudou who will race the 100 freestyle with a shot at adding that event to his Olympic program. He is currently qualified to race the men’s 50 freestyle. Manaudou will be joined by a solid lineup of men including Maxime Grousset, Clément Mignon, Mehdy Metella, and many more.

Lara Grangeon has missed out on qualifying for the Olympics in both the 1500 freestyle and 400 IM thus far but will be back again to race the women’s 200 butterfly. She’s the top seed there with a 2:09.50 which is a bit more than a second over the 2:08.43 it will take to qualify.

Grangeon will also be contesting the women’s 800 freestyle alongside Russian Olympian Anna Egorova and fellow open water swimmer Oceane Cassignol. There, the time to beat in the 800 will be an 8:42.17 in prelims and 8:26.43 in final.

Adding to the action, Antoine Viquerat and Antoine Marc will be among those racing the 200 breaststroke and are entered with a 2:11.44 and the 2:11.95, respectively.

Men’s 50 Backstroke

Yohann Ndoye Brouard and Mewen Tomac battled it out earlier this week during the men’s 100 backstroke with Tomac ultimately taking the title. Here, Jeremy Stravius and Stanislas Huille joined the duo with prelim swims of 25.34 and 25.46, respectively, while Brouard swam a 25.36 swim and Tomac a 25.47.

3 of them have been a bit quicker before with Stravius having swum a 24.45 back in August 2013, Brouard holding a PB of 24.94 from December 2020, and Tomac a 24.94 from that same month. Huille on the other hand was a little closer to his PB of 25.33 from April 2019.

They will need decent PBs in the final should they wish to crack the decade-long French record of 24.07 held by Camille Lacourt.

The 2 will go up against each other again in the final and will feature more competition than they did in the 100 in the form of the 3 other sub-26 swimmers during the morning, among others.

Women’s 50 Backstroke

Analia Pigree came out flying in the prelims of the 50 backstroke and delivered a new French record of 27.81, getting under Beryl Gastsaldello‘s 2018 mark of 27.86. That swim for Pigree was nearly half a second faster than her former PB in the event which was a 28.30, set only a few months ago in February 2021.

Finishing second in the prelims, Mary-Ambre Moluh also shaved half of a second off her previous best. Heading into the race with a 28.37 from March 2021, Moluh notched a 27.87 morning swim which was only 0.01 seconds slower than Gastaldello’s former record.

Switzerland’s Nina Kost was third during the prelims with a 28.36 which was right around her recent swims at the 2021 European Championships where she swam a 28.37 during the prelims of the event and a 28.30 in the semis.

Mathilde Cini also dipped under 29 here, posting a 28.99 for fourth place heading in finals while Pauline Mahieu and Alexe Herthe were 5th and 6th in a 29.03 and 29.43.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke

  • French Record: 2:08.94 – Hugues Duboscq (2009)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 2:14.26 in prelims and 2:10.35 in A-final

Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland led the way here, hitting a 2:13.49 200 breaststroke prelims which is a bit off his December 2020 best time of 2:11.81. After him, France’s Antoine Viquerat notched a 2:13.69 fr second overall in the heats. Viquerat holds a similar PB to Desplanches, having hit a 2:11.44.

Clément Bidard was next as the third fastest man of the morning, posting a 2:14.27. That was 0.01 seconds slower than the 2:14.26 he needed to get under the prelims Olympic-qualifying standard this morning. That made Viquerat the only French man to clear the cut.

Bidard has been under the prelims qualification time this season with a 2:13.80 PB from December 2020.

Algeria’s Jaouad Syoud followed in the rankings with another sub-2:15 swim of 2:14.92. Syoud’s quickest time on record prior to that swim was a 2:21.42 from April 2019 meaning that his swim was a substantial PB.

Women’s 200 Butterfly

  • French Record: 2:05.09 – Aurore Mongel (2009)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 2:12.28 in prelims and 2:08.43 in A-final

No women managed to get under the required prelims time of 2:12.71 in order to give them a shot at automatically qualifying for Tokyo.

Lucie Delmas lead the way with a 2:12.71 which was actually a bit faster than her 3rd place entry time of 2:13.27 but still over the 2:12.28 she needed.

Lara Grangeon followed by added a couple of seconds to the 2:09.50 she went in with, ending up with a 2:13.21 for second seed into the final.

Just as Grangeon did by going from top seed to 2nd, Lilou Ressencourt fell one place from 2nd seed to 3rd in the prelims with her 2:14.82, trailing her entry time of 2:11.88.

The three will be back tonight to try to get closer to that 2:08.43 finals cuts but will need some significant improvements from their morning swims in order to do so.

Men’s 100 Freestyle

  • French Record: 46.94 – Alain Bernard (2009)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 50.03 in prelims and 48.57 in A-final

The 15 fastest men in the 10 freestyle prelims swam under the required prelims standard of 50.03. The field also including 4 swims under 49 and 1 swim under 48.

The sole 47 swimmer in the field was Maxime Grousset who took first overall with a 47.99, getting within 0.09 seconds of his 47.90 entry time. If Grousset can replicate that time tonight and fend off the tight field behind him, he should be expecting to get on the plane to Tokyo in a few weeks.

50 freestyle Olympic champion Florent Manaudou won’t be letting Grousset take the title easily, however, coming in with a 48.58 for second place. It’s still a little bit over his 48.20 entry time but Manaudou only really has to worry about the 100 at this meet since he’s already qualified for the 50 and will therefore be going full force tonight.

Mehdy Metella was next with another sub-49 swim, notching a 48.78 for 3rd seed overall while Charles Rihoux managed a 48.93. Metella’s time was a bit slower than his 48.27 entry but Rihoux showed improvement, getting down from the 49.04 he went in with.

Women’s 800 Freestyle

  • French Record: 8:18.80 – Laure Manaudou (2007)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 8:42.17 in prelims and 8:26.43 in A-final

Russia’s Anna Egorova took first place in the women’s 800 freestyle prelims with an 8:41.51 morning swim, getting in ahead of France’s Adeline Furst who swam an 8:44.89.

Egorova has been quite a bit faster than what she swam here a number of times this season including when she hit an 8:24.35 PB in April and then swam an 8:27.51 in March and an 8:26.56 in April at the 2021 European Swimming Championships. Egorova will 400 and 800 freestyles this summer in Tokyo so this meet is likely serving as one of her final tuneups heading into the Games.

Furst’s swim of 8:44.89 was almost the exact same as her 8:44.14 entry time but bumped her up from 5th seed to 2nd seed heading into finals.

Maud Rodriguez also managed to climb up the rankings here, going from a 14th place seed with her 8:53.99 to a 3rd in the prelims with an 8:47.79. Furst and Rodiguez will lead the way into the final but were both a bit off the required prelims time of 8:42.17 that would help them earn consideration for Tokyo if they managed to get under the even faster 8:26.43 in the final.

1500 freestyle winner Aurélie Muller came back to place 4th overall in the prelims but added about 5 seconds to her 8:43.84 entry time, hitting an 8:49.33. Behind her, Lara Grangeon came in with an 8:51.43 just a few heats after racing a 2:13.21 200 butterfly.

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Joris Bohnson
5 months ago

I’m curious to see what manaudou can produce on the 100 free

Troyy
Reply to  Joris Bohnson
5 months ago

48.58

ArthurG
Reply to  Joris Bohnson
5 months ago

Actually he told l’Equipe (sports newspaper in France) that he won’t swim the finals. That will possibly let Clement Mignon take part in the finals later today (he was 9th overall in the heats, out of A final by 0.01) and bring more competitiveness to the field

Troyy
5 months ago

The live results page is so bad.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Troyy
5 months ago

At least it’s working. Compared to Australian trials….

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

Everyone in the world could watch Australian Trials on Amazon Prime. Lol.

And it was high quality coverage.

AnEn
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
5 months ago

You can’t compare those two. Swimming is far more popular in Australia, something like that would never be possible in France.

AnEn
Reply to  Troyy
5 months ago

Still better than Omegatiming (at least for the american trials) sadly …

Texas Tap Water
5 months ago

So slow

Troyy
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
5 months ago

Hope they’re not expecting Jacco to perform a miracle ready for Paris.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Troyy
5 months ago

Jacco will have very little to do with the French performances.
He isn’t in the water in swimmers’ place.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Troyy
5 months ago

And I’m less and less pessimistic about Paris 2024.
At least we will not look terrible.
Grousset in the men’s 100 free
Men’s 4X100 free relay medal contender
The men’s 4X100 medley relay will be much better than it is right now.
Ndoye-Brouard, Tomac and Mathieu in men’s backstroke
Marchand future star in the 200 fly, 200 IM and 400 IM. Unless Bowman ruins his career! 😆
Nowaczyc a great prospect in women’s sprint freestyle
Moluh great young talent in the women’s 100 back
Aubry from the 400 free to the 1500 free
Wattel, Gastaldello and Bonnet probably still in action
And of course Manaudou and Amaury “hamburger” Leveaux… Read more »

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

Lol. Dream on

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
5 months ago

I’m not dreaming. Between 2 and 4 gold medals doesn’t seem so crazy.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

Of course that total mostly depends on Marchand and his work with Bowman.

CasualSwimmer
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

Seeing how Bowman pretty much destroyed Yannick Agnel’s magnificient freestyle stroke by overworking him (in a trying period of his life with Camille Muffat’s death and his growing doubts about wasting his youth in the pool and not living his life), I’m a bit concerned for Léon Marchand.
In France I feel like there is a very diverse landscape of coaches, ranging from Philippe Lucas to Romain Barnier, but they don’t have the same mainstream milage culture as in the US (which is very “hit or miss”, whether the swimmer responds well to that kind of training), a culture that works well because the US has a really big selection pool. Bob Bowman (and Troy for that matter) seem… Read more »

AnEn
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

Yes it does, at least to objective observers. Even if you would give Grousset, Brouard and 2 x Marchand (200 IM and 400 IM) each a 50 % chance to win gold (absurdly high, especially for Grousset), the probability for 4 golds would be 1/16 (6.25 %).

In the 100 free you have Whittle, Richards, Popovici, Dressel, Chalmers, Miressi, Southam, Nemeth, Kolesnikov, Minakov, Hwang and many other competitors.
In the 100 back you have Casas, Armstrong, Rylov, Kolesnikov, Ceccon, Christou, Gonzalez, Coetze, Cooper, Glinta and many other competitors.
In the 200 IM you have Andrew, Smith, Gonzalez, Kos, Clareburt, Razzetti, Scott, Borodin, Sates and many other competitors.
In the 400 IM you have Foster, Kos, Clareburt, Razzetti,… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by AnEn
Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
5 months ago

I add the women’s 4X100 free relay in the list of potential medal in Paris.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bobo Gigi
AnEn
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

Your medal predictions are almost absurd …

1) How is the men’s free relay a medal contender? Manaudou, Metella and Mignon probably won’t be around then. Russia, Hungary, Italy, GB and Australia look far more promising (not to mention USA).
2) Aubry very likely won’t be close to the medals in 2024.
3) The men’s medley relay won’t be anywhere near a medal in 2024.
4) None of the women you mentioned will be medal contenders unless a miracle happens.
5) Grousset, Ndoye Brouard and Marchand could medal. I think 4 medals are realistic (maybe one or two in gold).
6) Success in open water? Olivier might medal, although i would rather bet on Wellbrock,… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by AnEn
AnEn
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
5 months ago

Why are you writing the same in every article? We get it, you have a problem with french swimming …

Troyy
5 months ago

Sub 49:

47.99 Grousset
48.58 Manadou
48.78 Metella
48.93 Rihoux

Drama King
Reply to  Troyy
5 months ago

Mignon ?

Troyy
Reply to  Drama King
5 months ago

49.43

Eric the eel > Phelps
5 months ago

nice swim from Grousset, and a 4×100 m free looking good!

Rafael
Reply to  Eric the eel > Phelps
5 months ago

So.. 5 teams for a 3rd place spot.. Italy GBR Australia Brazil France.. and a little behind Hungary

Fastest 4×100 final ever with all teams able to go sub 3:12

3:13 at least for cut to final..

AnEn
Reply to  Rafael
5 months ago

France isn’t on the same level as GB for example. GB is better at every position. Would be a small miracle for France to seriously challenge for a medal. I think they won’t finish higher than 7th or 8th (Hungary might be favored over them).

Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

Interesting prelims’ session.

French record in the women’s 50 back with Analia Pigree in 27.81.
French NAG record for 16-year-old Mary-Ambre Moluh in 27.87! I will call her MAM in the future. She’s improving very fast. Paris 2024 here we go.

French NAG record for 16-year-old Lucie Delmas in 2.12.71. I know. US NAG record is 2.05.96.

Grousset 47.99 in the 100 free. Close to his PB of 47.90
Manaudou 48.58 Not too bad for a handball player
Metella will try to qualify after his shoulder surgery of last year.

AnEn
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

2:12.7 is a good time for a 16-year old, but nothing spectacular. Even in Germany the NAG is almost 3 seconds faster + barely any teen phenoms in the 200 fly (or 400 IM) ever amount to anything. 27.87 in the 50 back for a 16-year old is far more impressive, she might be your most promising talent on the women’s side.

swimming
5 months ago

manaudou scratched finals

Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

Men’s 200 fly final Léon Marchand 1.55.40
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDNgwfakk2k

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

No trace of his 400 IM so far.