2023 French Championships: Day 3 Finals Live Recap


The third night of action from the 2023 French Elite Championships promises to be another exciting one, with some of France’s top names set to compete.

Highlighting the lineup is Leon Marchand, who has a chance to go three-for-three individually tonight in the men’s 200 fly, having won the 200 breast and 200 free over the first two days.

Marchand, the 2022 World Championship silver medalist in the 200 fly, qualified second into the final this morning in 1:59.17, trailing Turkey’s Noyan Taylan (1:58.75).

The most notable swim of the prelim session came from Florent Manaudou, who blasted his fastest 100 free time since 2016 from the first heat (entered with no time) in 48.12, though he’s sitting out of the final after having gone fast enough to likely a secure a spot on France’s 400 free relay.

Leading the charge in the men’s 100 free tonight will be Maxime Grousset, the 2022 World Championship silver medalist in the event who was the only other swimmer sub-49 this morning in 48.44.

The 50 free will be a marquee matchup on the women’s side, with Melanie Henique (24.94), Marie Wattel (25.19) and Beryl Gastaldello (25.30) occupying the three middle lanes tonight.


  • French Record: 1:53.37, Leon Marchand – 2022
  • French Qualifying Time for Fukuoka: 1:56.36
  1. Leon Marchand, 1:55.79
  2. Noyan Taylan, 1:56.52
  3. Jeremy Desplanches, 2:00.47
  4. Tom Remy, 2:00.63
  5. Paul Annocque, 2:01.07
  6. H.D. Passani, 2:02.40
  7. Alex Portal, 2:03.30
  8. Matheo Louis, 2:04.35

Leon Marchand soared to victory in the men’s 200 fly final to kick off the third night of action from Rennes, earning his third straight win in a time of 1:55.79.

Marchand executed a strong middle 100, splitting 29.04/29.87, before tightening up a bit down the stretch with closing 50 of 30.81, still getting well under the World Championship qualifying time of 1:56.36.

Marchand set the French Record of 1:53.37 last summer at the World Championships, winning silver, and had been slightly faster (1:55.58) earlier this season at the Westmont Pro Swim in April.

Noyan Taylan made up ground on Marchand over the closing 50, splitting 30.01 coming home to touch in 1:56.52, obliterating his Turkish Record of 1:58.34 set in March.

Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches rounded out the podium in 2:00.47, holding off France’s Tom Remy (2:00.63).


  • French Record: 27.27, Analia Pigree – 2022
  • French Qualifying Time for Fukuoka: 27.72
  1. Analia Pigree, 27.61
  2. Mary-Ambre Moluh, 27.69
  3. Pauline Mahieu, 28.09
  4. Nina Kost, 28.97
  5. Bertille Cousson, 29.22
  6. Eleane Donval, 29.56
  7. Aela Janvier, 29.81
  8. Emma Morel, 29.83

Analia Pigree edged out Mary-Ambre Moluh for the win in the women’s 50 backstroke with both swimmers earning World Championship qualification.

Pigree, the French Record holder at 27.27, touched in 27.61 to dip under her season-best of 27.65 set in March, sliding her up one spot into eighth in the world this season.

Moluh, 17, clocked 27.69 to narrowly miss her personal best of 27.63 set last year, sneaking under the Worlds qualifying time of 27.72.

Pauline Mahieu was third in 28.09, just shy of her PB of 28.06. She qualified for Fukuoka earlier in the meet in the 100 back, as did Pigree.


  • French Record: 46.94, Frederick Bousquet – 2009
  • French Qualifying Time for Fukuoka: 48.51
  1. Maxime Grousset, 47.62
  2. Guillaume Guth, 48.90
  3. Max Berg, 49.02
  4. Hadrien Salvan, 49.10
  5. Wissam-Amazigh Yebba, 49.21
  6. Nans Mazellier, 49.22
  7. Yann Le Goff, 49.34
  8. Charles Rihoux, 49.38

Maxime Grousset was right on career-best form in the men’s 100 free, rocketing to a decisive victory in a time of 47.62, just one-tenth shy of his lifetime best.

Grousset, 24, owns a PB of 47.52 from the Tokyo Olympics, and went 47.54 in the World Championship semis last year before winning silver in 47.64. Tonight’s swim marks his third-fastest swim ever, and also moves him into third in the 2022-23 world rankings.

2022-2023 LCM Men 100 Free

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Grousset has seemingly mastered the art of splitting sub-23 on the opening 50 and sub-25 coming home, as he was 22.88/24.74 tonight, and has now been 22/24 in some capacity in his five fastest swims.

The reigning World Championship silver medalist was the only swimmer under the Fukuoka qualifying time of 48.51, as Guillaume Guth claimed the runner-up spot in 48.90, undercutting his previous best of 49.14 from December 2021.

University of Kentucky swimmer Max Berg also set a new PB to take third in 49.02, while 200 free runner-up Hadrien Salvan rounded out the top four in 49.10. Salvan has been as fast as 48.51, done last year.


  • French Record: 58.64, Hughes Duboscq – 2009
  • French Qualifying Time for Fukuoka: 59.75
  1. Denis Petrashov, 1:00.33
  2. Clement Bidard, 1:00.65
  3. Antoine Viquerat, 1:00.85
  4. Carl Aitkaci, 1:01.03
  5. Antoine Marc / Lucien Vergnes, 1:01.51
  6. Brendan Fitzpatrick, 1:01.54
  7. Melaine Laine, 1:02.33

Kyrgyzstan native Denis Petrashov came away with the win in the final of the men’s 100 breast, putting together a well-rounded swim to touch in 1:00.33, three-tenths shy of his National Record set in April at the Westmont Pro Swim (1:00.03).

The top French finisher was Clement Bidard, who turns 22 in five days, as he got to the wall in 1:00.65, a new PB after he cracked 1:01 for the first time this morning.

Antoine Viquerat, who swam the breast leg for France in the 400 medley relay at the World Championships last year, was third in 1:00.85, while Carl Aitkaci, who swam the 100 breast individually in Budapest, led the race early but faded to fourth in 1:01.03.

The Frenchmen fell well shy of the 59.75 qualifying time for Worlds, but if a swimmer is to be added to the team for relay purposes, it will be Bidard.


  • French Record: 24.34, Melanie Henique – 2020
  • French Qualifying Time for Fukuoka: 24.82
  1. Melanie Henique, 24.70
  2. Marie Wattel, 24.73
  3. Beryl Gastaldello, 24.83
  4. Anna Santamans, 25.04
  5. Lison Nowaczyk, 25.40
  6. Nina Kost, 25.60
  7. Albane Cachot, 25.61
  8. Eloise Riley, 25.90

Melanie Henique recorded her fastest 50 free in two years to claim the French title in a razor-thin three-way battle to qualify for the World Championships.

Henique, the French National Record holder and Tokyo Olympic semi-finalist in the event, clocked 24.70 to edge out Marie Wattel (24.73) for the victory, with both swimmers under the qualifying time of 24.82.

The 30-year-old Henique only raced the 50 fly at the World Championships last summer, winning silver.

Wattel produced the second-fastest swim of her career to book her ticket to a second event in Fukuoka, having qualified in the 100 fly on Day 1. The 26-year-old went 24.54 in June 2021, and finished 12th in the 50 free at the 2022 World Championships.

Narrowly missing out on a spot was Beryl Gastaldello, who took third in 24.83, .01 under her previous season-best set at the Canet leg of the Mare Nostrum Tour in May.


  • French Record: 7:42.08, David Aubry – 2019
  • French Qualifying Time for Fukuoka: 7:53.11
  1. Damien Joly, 7:49.41
  2. Marc-Antoine Olivier, 7:50.23
  3. Pacome Bricout, 7:50.29
  4. Joris Bouchaut, 7:51.19
  5. David Aubry, 7:51.41
  6. Logan Fontaine, 7:51.92
  7. Sacha Velly, 7:53.91
  8. Tommy-Lee Camblong, 8:01.21

Damien Joly put his veteran experience to good use in the fastest heat of the men’s 800 freestyle, as the 31-year-old bided his time before making a late push to pick up the victory in 7:49.41.

Joly’s time is just under two seconds shy of his personal best of 7:47.46, set at last summer’s Worlds where he was seventh, and qualifies him for Fukuoka as he was three and a half seconds under the cut of 7:53.11.

Marc-Antoine Olivier, who was recently suspended by the French Federation for three months, was one of three swimmers that charged home under 28 seconds on the closing 50, touching second in 7:50.23 ahead of Pacome Bricout (7:50.29).

Olivier’s time undercuts his previous best of 7:50.36 from 2021 and qualifies him for Worlds in the pool, though his status remains to be seen. He had previously qualified in open water, but the suspension made him ineligible for Fukuoka. He has appealed the suspension and has said he will provide an update at the end of the championships.

Bricout will be a name to watch in the future, as the 18-year-old clocked 7:50.29 to set a new French Age Record. His previous best stood at 7:56.78, set in March, and he could potentially be at the World Championships if Olivier’s suspension isn’t overturned.

Bricout broke the previous record for 18-year-olds of 7:53.59, set by Tommy-Lee Camblong in 2019. Bricout notably set the 1500 age record earlier this year in 15:08.01.

Joris Bouchaut had the fastest closing 50 in the field at 27.36, but it was too little too late as he ended up fourth in 7:51.19, having set a PB of 7:50.69 at the 2022 European Championships.

Logan Fontaine, who has already qualified for Worlds after winning the 400 free, made a bit of an early move and held the lead through the 600-meter mark, but had no gas coming home and ended up fifth in the heat in 7:51.92.

French Record holder David Aubry logged 7:51.41 from one of the early heats, which ended up finishing fifth.

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Octavio Gupta
5 months ago

Foster >>>>> Marchand

5 months ago

Poor swim from Marchand, perhaps fatigue caught up with him. His last 50 wasn’t a Bowman’esque type athlete.

5 months ago

Tired Léon today

5 months ago

ouch !

5 months ago

" It was hard. I wasn't slack enough in the first 100m so I'm really fishing in the last 50m. I ride too high, down, I'm not forward enough, so it was a bit tricky. I haven't worked the 200m butterfly too much this year. It's a race that you have to master from A to Z if you really want to swim fast. There is necessarily fatigue. At the French championships, there are also a lot of external things, it's not easy to manage all that. But I'm still content with my performance yesterday and the day before. Now I will try to recover well and start on the right foot tomorrow. I'm going to try things
… Read more »

Swim Alchemist
5 months ago

Surprised no one has mentioned that Carson Foster was faster a few days ago LOL.

Reply to  Swim Alchemist
5 months ago

I have been saying for a while that his fly is basically not any worse than Marchand’s. He’s probably the best American 200flier right now.

Last edited 5 months ago by snailSpace
Reply to  Swim Alchemist
5 months ago

Leon Marchand and Carson Foster could go the same time and ppl only go crazy for Marchand

Same energy as the flirting vs harassment meme

Reply to  Swim Alchemist
5 months ago

Yeah but it was in austin

5 months ago

Bowman said Marchand was not shaved and only about 50% tapered for this meet….tell you what, if the guy has more left in the tank after going 1:46 in 200 free, 2:06 in 200 breast, 1:55 in 200 fly, we might be in for a treat come worlds.

He’ll have a large workload, but if he can manage it, seeing him going:

  1. 200 breast – 2:05.4ish 200 breast
  2. 200 free – 1:44.8ish 200 free
  3. 200 fly – 1:53.4ish 200 fly

With potential to split 57 breast, if not under 50.5 fly for France’s medley, 1:43+/1:44 low for the 800 free relay, maybe 47 low 100 free. And we haven’t seen the 200 or 400 IM yet.

Reply to  jim
5 months ago

Never speculate again 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Michael Andrew Wilson
Reply to  jim
5 months ago

Don’t be too discouraged by the downvote peanut gallery. Some guys got within a couple tenths on calling his 200br time and even their guesses got an avalanche of downvotes.

I think you’re a little too bullish on his 100s, but not wildly so. I sure wouldn’t bet $100 that he won’t split a 57-high 100br and 47-low 100fr.

How soon we forget how differently LM’s strokes seemed to pop between Pac-12s and NCAAs.

5 months ago

@james sutherland
Noyan Taylan , who competes in the 200 fly is french not turkish. Perhaps he has turkish roots (I don’t know) but he’s french.

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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