2022 FRENCH ELITE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, April 5th – Sunday, April 10th
- Limoges Métropole, France
- LCM (50m)
- World Championships & European Championships Qualifier
- FFN Selection Policy
The second night session from the 2022 French Elite Championships in Limoges Métropole will feature four sets of finals in the women’s 100 back, men’s 100 back, women’s 100 breast, men’s 200 free and the fastest heat in the women’s 1500 free timed finals.
In this morning’s preliminaries, several swimmers put themselves in contention for World Championship qualification with some noteworthy performances, headlined by Hadrien Salvan in the men’s 200 freestyle.
Salvan dropped a big personal best time of 1:46.76, becoming the sixth-fastest Frenchman ever while also dipping under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 1:47.06. The FFN qualifying procedures dictate that the swim needs to be done in the ‘A’ final in order to be considered, so Salvien will need to be quick again in order to solidify his spot.
Tomac also picked up the top seed in the men’s 100 back, clocking 54.35 to put within just over three-tenths of the cut for Worlds cut (54.03). Tomac owns a best time of 52.86, set at the 2021 European Championships, and narrowly missed the qualifying time at the French Championships in December (54.09).
The French qualifying procedures prioritize this edition of the French Elite Championships first, followed by the December edition, and then the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the FFN Golden Tour meets in Nice (February 4-6) and Marseille (March 4-6) earlier this year.
Yohann Ndoye Brouard, who finished first in that December final in 53.44 and therefore has a spot locked up unless two others go under the qualifying time in tonight’s final, was third-fastest in the prelims in 55.18.
Analia Pigree won the event in the December championships in 59.88, making her the frontrunner for Worlds selection coming into the final. She was 1:01.27 to qualify fourth in the heats, with 16-year-old Mary-Ambre Moluh (1:01.03) also a factor in third.
Terebo was 1:00.31 on the Golden Tour in March and would earn Worlds qualification if no one leapfrogs her in tonight’s final. Moluh owns a best of 1:00.04, set in January, so she’s one to watch for.
The top qualifier for finals in the women’s 100 breaststroke was Adele Blanchetiere (1:09.04). It would require a French Record by more than half a second to get down to the World Championship standard of 1:07.43.
In the women’s 1500 free, which the FFN notably lists as having a qualifying time of 16:14 with no one-hundredths (the women’s distance events are also the only ones that don’t mirror the FINA ‘A’ cut), Russian native Anastasia Kirpichnikova is expected to dominate as the top seed by over 35 seconds.
The top French entrant is Adeline Furst, who clocked 16:28.28 at the championships in December.
Women’s 100 Back Final
- French Record: 59.50, Laure Manaudou, 2007
- FFN Worlds Cut: 1:00.59
The first ‘A’ final of the night delivered in the women’s 100 back, as Emma Terebo held off a late charge from Mary-Ambre Moluh as both went well under the World Championship qualifying time and neared the 15-year-old French Record.
Terebo got out to the early lead and ultimately touched first in a time of 59.64, annihilating her previous best of 1:00.31 while coming within 14 one-hundredths of Laure Manaudou‘s National Record (59.50) set back in 2007.
The 16-year-old Moluh set a new French National Age Group Record for 17 & unders in a time of 59.67, going under her previous best of 1:00.04 set in January.
Moluh made up nearly seven-tenths on Terebo on the second 50 (30.23 to 30.91), but ran out of real estate at the finish.
Both women were well under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 1:00.59 and will qualify for the World Championships. They also now rank #2 and #3 all-time in French history, trailing only Manaudou.
Pauline Mahieu took thrid in 1:00.96, while Analia Pigree, who went 59.88 at the French Elite Championships in December, was back in fourth in 1:01.22. While it looked like Pigree had all but locked up a Worlds spot coming into the meet, she is denied after the performances from Terebo and Moluh.
Men’s 100 Back Final
- French Record: 52.11, Camille Lacourt, 2010
- FFN Worlds Cut: 54.03
Ndoye Brouard’s swim falls .01 shy of his performance at the December championships, and is well under the qualifying time of 54.03.
Tomac delivered his fastest swim since last summer’s Olympic Games in 53.72, qualifying for Worlds after narrowly missing the standard in December (54.09).
In Tokyo, Tomac placed 14th in the semi-finals, while Ndoye Brouard was sixth coming out of the prelims but missed his turn in the semis and ended up being disqualified.
Kai Van Westering rounded out the podium in 54.90.
Women’s 100 Breast Final
- French Record: 1:07.97, Sophie de Ronchi, 2011
- FFN Worlds Cut: 1:07.43
Belgian native Florine Gaspard came away with the victory in the women’s 100 breaststroke, using a quick opening 50 of 31.63 to top the field by almost a full second in 1:07.77.
The time for Gaspard falls just shy of her personal best, 1:07.72, which was set at the French Elite Championships in December.
Delmas, 17, was fifth in this event at the 2021 European Junior Championships and owns a best time of 1:08.83 from December 2020.
No French women have hit the qualifying standard for Worlds.
Men’s 200 Free Final
- French Record: 1:43.14, Yannick Agnel, 2012
- FFN Worlds Cut: 1:47.06
Hadrien Salvan took over the lead on the third 50 and soared to victory in the men’s 200 freestyle, successfully getting under the qualifying time by over two-tenths of a second in 1:46.84.
The 24-year-old, who set a best time of 1:46.76 in the prelims, now qualifies for his first World Championship team after swimming on France’s 4×200 free relay at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.
Jordan Pothain took it out hard over the first 100 and led Salvan by just under a tenth at the turn in 51.96. However, Pothain faded down the back-half and was overtaken by Salvan, Roman Fuchs, Enzo Tesic and Wissam-Amazigh Yebba.
Fuchs pushed Salvan all the way to the finish and touched second in 1:47.20, establishing a new personal best while narrowly missing the qualifying time. Fuchs came into the meet with a PB of 1:48.26 and had gone 1:47.67 in the heats.
Tesic (1:48.02) and Yebba (1:48.92) took third and fourth, and Pothain ended up fifth in 1:49.10.
Since only Salvan went under the qualifying time, Pothain’s 1:46.75 swim from the Olympic Games solidifies his spot at Worlds.
For the 4×200 free relay, the FFN standard requires the top-four finishers to achieve an add-up of 7:09. The top-four here add up to 7:10.98, but it’s possible they would consider Pothain’s Olympic time, which, if combined with Salvan, Fuchs and Tesic, would sneak them under 7:09.
Women’s 1500 Free Timed Final
- French Record: 16:03.01, Laure Manaudou, 2006
- FFN Worlds Cut: 16:14.-
Russian native Anastasia Kirpichnikova was head and shoulders above the field in the women’s 1500 free, putting up the top time by over 43 seconds in 15:56.86.
Kirpichnikova is the Russian Record holder at 15:50.22, a time she set in the Tokyo Olympic prelims before placing seventh in the final.
The top French finisher was Adeline Furst, who was more than 12 seconds slower than she was in December at 16:40.65. Alexa Reyna‘s 16:42.04 swim from the early heats held up as the third-fastest overall.