2022 French Elite Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


  • Tuesday, April 5th – Sunday, April 10th
  • Limoges Métropole, France
  • LCM (50m)
  • World Championships & European Championships Qualifier
  • FFN Selection Policy
  • Entries
  • Results

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.

Russia’s Anastasia Kirpichnikova (4:12.11) led Charlotte Bonnet (4:16.01) in the women’s 400 free prelims, while Cyrielle Duhamel (2:16.01) was the top qualifier in the 200 IM.

On the men’s side, Thomas Piron (23.81) led Maxime Grousset (23.83) in the 50 fly heats this morning, with co-national record holder Florent Manaudou (24.13) lurking back in seventh.

Also earning Lane 4 for finals was Joris Bouchaut (3:50.00) in the 400 free and Carl Aitkaci (1:01.09) in the 100 breast.

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
  1. Cyrielle Duhamel (FRA), 2:14.19
  2. Camille Tissandie (FRA), 2:14.42
  3. 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
  1. Joris Bouchaut (FRA), 3:49.08
  2. Marc-Antoine Olivier (FRA), 3:50.12
  3. David Aubry (FRA), 3:51.36

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.

Open water ace Marc-Antoine Olivier was the runner-up in 3:50.12, while 2019 World Championship bronze medalist in the 800 free, David Aubry, was third in 3:51.36.

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
  1. Marie Wattel (FRA), 58.61
  2. Lilou Ressencourt (FRA), 59.28
  3. Tabatha Avetand (FRA), 59.77

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.

Lilou Ressencourt (59.28) held off a hard-charging Tabatha Avetand (59.77) to snag second, while two-time Olympian Beryl Gastaldello faded on the second 50 and finished fourth (1:00.01).

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
  1. Maxime Grousset (FRA), 23.41
  2. Florent Manaudou (FRA), 23.46
  3. Thomas Piron (FRA), 23.69

Maxime Grousset (23.41) edged out Florent Manaudou (23.46) in a blistering 50 fly final that saw six men dip under 24 seconds.

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
  1. Anastasia Kirpichnikova (RUS), 4:09.59
  2. Charlotte Bonnet (FRA), 4:11.99
  3. Adeline Furst (FRA), 4:14.30

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
  1. Carl Aitkaci (FRA), 1:00.77
  2. Antoine Viquerat (FRA), 1:00.88
  3. Clement Bidard (FRA), 1:01.46

Carl Aitkaci inched under his best time to snag the win in the men’s 100 breaststroke, holding off Antoine Viquerat in a time of 1:00.77.

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.

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Tik Tok
2 years ago


Big Mac #1
2 years ago

How is Kirpichnikova even allowed?

Reply to  Big Mac #1
2 years ago

Putin supporters are slated to get around 40% of the votes in the upcoming French elections. As far as I am concerned all Russians should be sent back to Russia. Then Minakov and others also swam at NCAA

Bobo Gigi
2 years ago

As expected a very quiet first day.
I’m going to dinner now.

sports live
2 years ago

Watch Live:: https://stream-tv.live

Bobo Gigi
2 years ago

French women’s swimming still struggling a lot from the 400 free to the 1500 free.

Tik Tok
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
2 years ago

Also 50 free to 200 free

Bobo Gigi
2 years ago

Ethan Dumesnil born in 2006 breaks the French NAG record for 17-year-old swimmers and under in the 50 fly in 24.31. It was 24.35 jointly held by Metella since 2009 and Mazellier last December.

sports live
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
2 years ago

Watch Live HD:: https://stream-tv.live

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
2 years ago

NAG record for 16 and 17-year-old boys

2 years ago

Appreciate the updates from you bobo

Bobo Gigi
2 years ago

Grousset beats Manaudou in a close 50 fly final. Not so far from his best time of 23.31.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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