2021 French Olympic Trials: Day 5 Finals Live Recap


Day 5 prelims of the 2021 French Elite Swimming Championships got interrupted when the bulkhead separated from the starting blocks, causing an abrupt end to the session.

This morning, the only heats that ran were the women’s and men’s 50 butterfly and the women’s 200 breast. Due to the equipment malfunction, all times swum during day 5 prelims were rendered unofficial.

The most notable swims during the morning session came from the top 4 women in the 200 breaststroke; Justine Delmas, Fanny Deberghes, Camille Dauba, and Fantine Lesaffre. All of them were under the prelims cut that they needed in order to earn consideration for the team. This means that while they will swim the final, their times from the morning won’t count and they will now need to get under the faster finals time standard of 2:25.52 in order to nab a spot on the team.

As the men’s 200 backstroke and women’s 100 freestyle prelims were missed due to the interruption, the events will occur tonight as timed finals and the prelims qualifying time has been nullified. That means that in order to qualify for the Games, swimmers will need to be under the faster qualifying time listed below.

Women’s 800 Freestyle – Final

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

Anna Egorova led the way in the women’s 800 freestyle and touched first with an 8:34.78. She was faster in the final than her 8:41.51 prelims swim on day 4 but trailed her PB of 8:24.35 from April 2021 as well as her 8:27.51 in March and an 8:26.56 in April at the 2021 European Swimming Championships.

The fastest French woman in the heat and collected gold with a swim of 8:38.60 while 1500 freestyle champion from earlier in the meet Aurélie Muller nabbed silver with an 8:43.48.

Since neither of those top 2 times were faster than the required qualifying time of 8:26.43, it is likely that we won’t see anyone racing the event for France at the Tokyo Olympics.

Lara Grangeon also missed out on the Olympic cut with a bronze medal-winning 8:45.66. While she likely won’t race in pool swimming in Tokyo, Grangeon has qualified to race the 10 km open water race this summer for France.

Men’s 50 Butterfly – Final

  • French Record: 22.84 – Fréderick Bousquet (2009)

5 men got under 24 seconds here, making for a competitive final and down-to-the-wire race for gold. Ultimately, it was Thomas Piron’s 23.55 that took gold as he got in 0.33 seconds ahead of Julien Berol.

Both Piron and Berol were actually a little bit faster this morning, swimming 23.43 and 23.83, respectively, but those times ended up not counting due to a bulkhead malfunction that wound up delaying the meet.

Yanis Dutel managed to get into the wall for the bronze medal with a 23.90 which was just 0.01 seconds quicker than Nicolas Vermorel’s 23.91 for 4th place. That was an improvement from prelims for both of them as Dutel was a 23.97 earlier on and Vermorel a 24.08.

Guillaume Guth also cracked 24 seconds here with a 23.97 while Nikita Baez rounded out the top 6 with a 24.20.

Women’s 50 Butterfly

Melanie got it done here and pulled off an impressive win in the women’s 50 butterfly, hitting a 25.17 to take out her own French record of 25.24 from last year. Henqiue raced the event this morning and hit a 24.47 which was just over her NR but, as was the case with the men’s 50 fly, all times from the women’s heats were rendered unofficial.

Analia Pigree came in with a 26.68 for the silver medal which was a decent improvement upon the 27.26 that she swam during the prelims session. This is Pigree’s first time under 27 in the 50 fly, having entered the meet with a 27.17 PB from December 2020.

Earlier on in the meet, Pigree actually took out Beryl Gastaldello’s French national record of 27.86 with a 27.81 during the prelims and then lowered it to a 27.59 in the finals.

Lucie Delmas followed Pigree with a 26.96 for the bronze medal while Emma Morel just missed out on crack 27 with a 27.01.

Women’s 200 Breaststroke

  • French Record: 2:25.19 – Sophie de Ronchi (2009)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 2:29.89 in prelims and 2:25.52 in A-final

While it was a good race for the top spot in the women’s 200 breaststroke, none of the entrants in the race managed to crack the 2:25.52 Olympic-qualifying standard. As no one qualified in the women’s 100 breaststroke either, it is unlikely that France will send any women to Tokyo for the breaststroke.

One potential, however, could be to use Fantine Lesaffre who won the event with a 2:27.27 and is already qualified for the Games in the 200 and 400 IM. It’s unclear whether this will be enough to get her on the roster for a third event or if she would even want to.

Camille Dauba was also under 2:28 here, nabbing the silver medal with a 2:27.99 which is quicker than her unofficial morning swim of 2:28.54.

Joining the top 2 on the podium, Justine Delmas and Fanny Desbarghes tied for third with a 2:28.31. Desberghes and Delmas previously went 1-2 in the 100 breast with a 1:08.76 and 1:09.42, respectively.

Men’s 200 Backstroke

  • French Record: 1:56.10 – Yohann Nodye Brouard (2021)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 2:01.03 in prelims and 1:57.50 in A-final

The French men are officially set for the backstroke events at the Tokyo Olympics now that Mewen Tomac has officially qualified with a 1:56.82. That swim was enough to get him the gold medal here and was under the Olympic-qualifying standard of 1:57.50.

Heading into the meet, Yohann Ndoye Brouard had already been named to the team for both the 100 and 200 backstrokes and Tomac’s double wins in both of those events allowed him to join the squad.

Brouard was a little bit slower with a 1:58.52 for 4th place overall, trailing his PB of 1:56.10 from earlier this year.

Brouard will take bronze since the 2nd fastest man, Roman Mityukov, represents Switzerland internationally. Mityukov swam to a 1:58.15 in the final while Geoffroy Mathieu came in with a 1:58.25 to take the silver medal.

Women’s 100 Freestyle

  • French Record: 52.74 – Charlotte Bonnet (2018)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 56.01 in prelims and 54.38 in A-final

Marie Wattel has already been named to the French Olympic team for the 100 freestyle but that didn’t stop her from entering and racing the event here at Nationals. Wattel managed to deliver a 53.34 victory in the event which is well under the FINA A standard.

The real race here was for second place as a group of women followed Wattel, trying to become the second qualifier to race the event individually. Ultimately, Charlotte Bonnet pulled that feat off and touched in second place with a 53.71. That was also under the 54.38 FINA A and should be enough to get her a spot in the event in Tokyo.

Beryl Gastaldello, who has previously missed the FINA A this week in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, got under the 100 freestyle cut here but since she was third overall, won’t get a spot on the team individually. Instead, Gastaldello will likely be chosen as a member of the country’s 4×100 relay team.

Another 2 candidates for relay selection here are Anouchka Martin and Margaux Fabre who tied for 4th place with a 54.95.

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1 year ago

Michael Andrew’s 200 IM opening split of 23.77 would’ve taken 2nd in this 50 fly

Eric the Eel > Michael Phelps
1 year ago

Beryl always struggled on LCM

Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Marie Wattel wins the 100 free in 53.34
She was already qualified.
Charlotte Bonnet second in 53.71
She’s the second French qualified swimmer
Béryl Gastaldello only third in 54.24. She will only swim the relay.

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Gastaldello was faster than 53.71 this year at previous championship. She deserves individual.

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  wow
1 year ago

I thought her time of last December (53.40) would qualify her but that’s not the case.
The qualification system is too complicated for me. 😆

Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Women’s 100 free coming up

Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Tomac 55.64 at the half-race of the 200 back fastest heat
He wins in 1.56.82 and qualifies for Tokyo in that event.

Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

50 fly French record for Mélanie Hénique in 25.17

Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Why doesn’t she train for the 100 free so she can swim with Bonnet, Gasta and Wattel?

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Lopez
1 year ago

She mostly trains for the 50 free.