2023 French Elite Championships Day 3 Prelims Recap


We entered day three of the 2023 French Elite Championships, the sole opportunity for swimmers to qualify for next month’s World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

Olympic champion Florent Manaudou already claimed 50m fly silver earlier in this competition and the 32-year-old continued his momentum into this morning’s 100m free event.

Manaudou fired off a swift heats swim of 48.12 to take the top seed, splitting 23.08/25.04 in the process. The time checks in as the sprinter’s fastest outing since 2016 and represents the 5th best time of his career.

Florent Manaudou‘s Top 5 LCM 100 Free Performances

  1. 47.98 2014
  2. 47.98 2015
  3. 48.00 2016
  4. 48.10 2016
  5. 48.12 2023

Behind Manaudou was World Championships multi-medalist Maxime Grousset who clocked 48.44 as the only other man under 49 seconds in the prelim. Hadrien Salvan rounded out the top 3 in 49.06.

A time of 48.51 is what the men will be chasing in the final in order to add this event to their Fukuoka lineup. Manaudou reportedly is opting out of the final but his 48.12 should still be enough to qualify individually as long as no additional swimmer besides Grousset clears the cut in tonight’s race. It should also be enough to add the men’s 4x100m free relay to Manaudou’s lineup.

In the women’s 50m free, it was Melanie Henique who landed lane 4, producing a mark of 24.94. That’s already a season-best for the 30-year-old Olympian who carried a time of 25.01 from the Lausanne Swim Cup into this meet.

Henique will be challenged by Marie Wattel and Beryl Gastaldello who notched morning outings of 25.19 and 25.30, respectively. Gastaldello has already been within earshot of the 24.82 FFN-mandated qualification standard, owning a season-best of 24.84 from the Canet stop of this year’s Mare Nostrum Tour.

Superstar Leon Marchand dove in for his 3rd individual event of these championships after already having reaped gold in the 200m breast and 200m free.

The 21-year-old Arizona State University ace snagged the 2nd seed in the 200m fly this morning, putting up a time of 1:59.17. Noyan Taylan of Turkey hit 1:58.75 as the top seed. Taylan’s time fell just outside of his own national record of 1:58.34 logged in March at the Meeting Camille Muffat.

Marchand owns the French national record in the 2fly, courtesy of the 1:53.37 he nailed en route to earning silver at the 2022 World Championships. The Fukuoka time standard of 1:56.36 should be no problem for Marchand.

Additional Notes

  • Mary-Ambre Moluh posted a morning result of 27.84 to take the top seed in the women’s 50m back with Analia Pigree behind her in 27.96. Pigree has already qualified for Fukuoka in the 100m back from yesterday.
  • Kazakhstan swimmer Denis Petrashov was the top finisher in the men’s 100m breast in a time of 1:00.54. The quickest Frenchman was Clement Bidard who notched 1:00.82. Bidard’s outing already checks in as a lifetime best, slicing .35 off his previous PB of 1:01.17 clocked in 2022.

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Gleb Bassov
8 months ago

Denis Petrashov is not Kazakhstan swimmer, he represents Kyrgyzstan.

8 months ago

Biiig time for Flo, sounds good for his 50 ! Closing speed has always been tricky for him, but if he can put up that kind of time in the 100 he should be fine in the 50

I’m not fully up to date on the whole Marchand lore, is he is still undefeated since Budapest ?

Last edited 8 months ago by CasualSwimmer
Reply to  CasualSwimmer
8 months ago

If we’re saying individual races and finals only, then I think so? He went the entire NCAA season undefeated and he didn’t lose at westmont. So ye I think he’s still undefeated. He’s probably going to go undefeated until Budapest because I don’t see him beating milak in the 200 fly.

Reply to  Jason
8 months ago

He lost to Grant House at the Maroon & Gold meet in 100 free in September

Reply to  PhillyMark
8 months ago

For clarity.

The ASU Maroon & Gold Intrasquad meet is a Pentathlon, with components of 100 SCY in each stroke plus a 100 SCY IM. The winner is determined by adding the times of each leg for a total, not by each leg, much the same as in an Individual Medley race the splits add together to determing the race winner. A person could be second or third fastest on each leg and end up winning the race by a wide margin.

While House (:42.19) had a freestyle leg faster than Marchand (:42.53), the results of the 2022-23 Maroon & Gold meet was 1) Marchand, 3:53.31; 2) House, 3:55.52, with David Schlicht 3rd at 4:02.70. Others of interest… Read more »

Big Swimmy
8 months ago

do we know if he swam bent arm or straight arm?

Reply to  Big Swimmy
8 months ago

Video’s on his Instagram page. Manaudou had a very flowy bent arm stroke until the last few strokes which were like his 50 stroke.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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