2022 FRENCH ELITE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, April 5th – Sunday, April 10th
- Limoges Métropole, France
- LCM (50m)
- World Championships & European Championships Qualifier
- FFN Selection Policy
The opening finals session from the 2022 French Elite Championships kicks off tonight from Limoges Métropole, with World Championship and European Championship qualifying spots up for grabs.
Though this meet isn’t the only competition in which athletes can qualify for June’s World Championships in Budapest, it is the top qualification priority.
Highlighting tonight’s action will be the women’s 100 fly, where Olympic finalist Marie Wattel leads the field after clocking 59.09 in the heats. Sitting in third is Beryl Gastaldello, who put up a time of 1:00.44 in the heats.
Note that the French qualifying standards for Worlds are the same as the FINA ‘A’ cuts.
Prior to the ‘A’ and ‘B’ finals, there will be ‘C’ finals featuring 19 & under swimmers for women and 20 & under for men in each event, which will take up the first half-hour of action.
Women’s 200 IM Final
- French Record: 2:09.37, Camille Muffat, 2009
- FFN Worlds Cut: 2:12.98
- Cyrielle Duhamel (FRA), 2:14.19
- Camille Tissandie (FRA), 2:14.42
- Bertille Cousson (FRA), 2:16.43
Olympic semi-finalist Cyrielle Duhamel emerged victorious in the women’s 200 IM in a time of 2:14.19, edging out youngster Camille Tissandie in a neck-and-neck battle that came down to the final touch.
The 2004-born Tissandie made a big move on the backstroke leg, out-splitting Duhamel 33.82 to 35.10, and Duhamel answered with a 38.8 breaststroke split as the two women turned within two-tenths of one another heading into the free.
The two produced near-matching 31.5s down the stretch, as Duhamel clocked 2:14.19 and Tissandie was a close second in 2:14.42.
The 22-year-old Duhamel has confirmed her spot for the World Championships by virtue of her 2:10.84 swim at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.
Tissandie was the highest French finisher at the December edition of the French Elite Championships in this event, clocking a best of 2:13.73. That falls three-quarters of a second shy of the Worlds standard.
Two-time French Olympian Fantine Lesaffre, the 2018 European champion in the 400 IM, was back in fifth in a time of 2:17.25. Lesaffre, who owns a PB of 2:11.70, was significantly faster (2:13.80) at the championships in December. She also recently moved to NC State to train.
Men’s 400 Free Final
- French Record: 3:43.85, Yannick Agnel, 2011
- FFN Worlds Cut: 3:48.15
Joris Bouchaut opened up a big lead early and managed to keep the field at bay coming down the stretch in the men’s 400 free, winning by just over a second in a time of 3:49.08.
Bouchaut’s time falls over nine-tenths shy of the World Championship qualification standard of 3:48.15. His best time, set in June 2021, stands at 3:47.67.
Logan Fontaine, who won the event at the French Championships in December in 3:51.34, was a close fourth in 3:51.61.
As it stands France will have no representatives in the event at the World Championships.
Women’s 100 Fly Final
- French Record: 56.16, Marie Wattel, 2021
- FFN Worlds Cut: 58.33
Marie Wattel earned the victory in the women’s 100 fly, opening up a big lead with a 26.83 opening 50 before finishing in a time of 58.61.
While Wattel’s time falls shy of the Worlds standard, her Budapest is secured given her 56.16 swim at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Ressencourt was notably 59.21 in December, while Avetand, 17, cracks 1:00 for the first time after coming in with a best of 1:00.79.
Men’s 50 Fly Final
- French Record: 22.84, Frederick Bousquet, 2009 / Florent Manaudou, 2015
- FFN Worlds Cut: 23.63
Grousset falls just .02 shy of his winning time from the December edition of the French Elite Championships (23.39), booking his spot for Worlds, and Manaudou’s showing overtakes Thomas Piron‘s 23.54 from that meet to solidify his entry into this event in Budapest.
Manaudou was also 23.31 at the FFN Golden Tour in March.
Piron took third here in 23.69, edging out Julien Berol (23.80) and Clement Secchi (23.84). Secchi is notably coming off of winning Swimmer of the Year honors at the U SPORTS Championships in late March back in Canada, where he attends McGill University.
2006-born Ethan Dumesnil clocked 24.31 to break the National Age Group Record for 17 & under boys, lowering the previous mark of 24.35 previously held jointly by Olympian Mehdy Metella and Nans Mazellier.
Women’s 400 Free Final
- French Record: 4:01.13, Camille Muffat, 2012
- FFN World Cut: 4:10.57
Russian native Anastasia Kirpichnikova inched away from France’s Charlotte Bonnet on the second 100 and punctuated a 2.4-second victory with a 30.5 closing 50 to win the women’s 400 free in a time of 4:09.59.
Kirpichnikova owns a best of 4:06.26, set one year ago Monday at the Russian Championships in Kazan. She is representing the FFN at this competition.
Bonnet produced her fastest swim since 2015, clocking 4:11.99 to chop two-tenths off her time from the December championships (4:12.19). However, it falls shy of the World Championship qualification standard. She owns a PB of 4:09.89 from March 2014.
Men’s 100 Breast Final
- French Record: 58.64, Hughes Duboscq, 2009
- FFN Worlds Cut: 59.75
Aitkaci hit a PB of 1:00.82 at the French Elite Championships in December, where he and Viquerat tied in the final to win in 1:00.94. Viquerat was also faster than he was four months ago in 1:00.88, but neither seriously approached the FINA ‘A’ cut of 59.75.