2024 French Olympic Trials: Day 3 Finals – Live Recap


Mes Amis. Il ya a de bonnes et de mauvaises nouvelles. The good news is that day 3 of the 2024 French Elite Championships are here. Expect a fast session as the finals of the 10os free for both the men and the women are scheduled.

The bad news, however, is that after swimming a lifetime best at 33, Florent Manaudou, has dropped out of the 100 free. After swimming 47.90, dropping .08 off his previous best of 10 years ago, Manaudou has withdrawn from the final. It is not a shocking move; Manaudou has done it often before and probably wanted a time so he could be considered for the 4×100 free and 4×100 medley relays.

In his place, Hadrien Salvan, the winner of the 200 yesterday, will be bumped into the final. Salvan, who was a member of the 4×200 free relay in Tokyo and led off the 4×100 free in Fukuoka (48.70), was 9th this morning in a time of 49.19. Maxime Grousset is the top seed in the event after swimming 47.65 this morning. Grousset has a PB of 47.72 and will be looking to chase that time as he is already under the qualifying time of 48.34.

We start the evening session off with the fastest heats of the 1500, where Anastasiia Kirpichnikova is seeded more than 45 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor and will be in a race against the clock to try to get a second individual event.

The women’s 100 free also has a lot on the line as all eight swimmers will be competing for four spots on the 4×100 free relay; Marie Wattel and Charlotte Bonnet took the top two spots this morning in 54.31 and 54.35, respectively. Beryl Gasteldello sits in 5th and looks dangerous after qualifying for the team individually last night in a new personal best.

Women’s 1500 Free – Finals

  • World Record: 15:20.48 – Katie Ledecky, USA (2018)
  • World Junior Record: 15:25.48 – Katie Ledecky, USA (2014)
  • French Record: 15:48.53 – Anastasiia Kirpichnikov (2023)
  • 2021 Winning Time: 16:22.66 – Aurelie Muller
  • Olympic Qualifying Time: 16:09.09

Top 3

  1.  Anastasiia Kirpichnikova (Montpellier) – 15:59.95 *** OLY QUALIFIER***
  2.  Lisa Pou (AS Monaco Natation) – 16:41.26
  3.  Clemence Coccordano (Lille Mrtropole Natation) – 16:45.77

It was a Ledecky-esque race for Anastasiia Kirpichnikov, in as much as she had a three-plus body length lead at the 200, where she was out in 2:03.67. At the 400-meter mark, she was 4:11.56 and the lead was so much that her fellow competitor’s splits did not show up on the television screen. For reference, Kirpichnikov won the 400 in 4:06.87, so looked in good stead in the early opening hundreds.

At the 800 turns, an event that has yet to swim, the new French citizen was 8:28.22 and had a 25-second lead. Kirpichnikov held 32. mids from the 800 mark to 1450, when she brought it home in 30.79 to get under the 16-minute barrier by .05. She was 15:56.92 at the Canet stop of the Mare Nostrum, so she might not be happy with the time, but it marked at least her seven occasion under 16 minutes. Lisa Pou, who switched sporting nationalities from France to Monaco last year, finished in 2nd in 16:41.26.

Men’s 50 Breast – Finals

  • World Record: 25.95 – Adam Peaty, GBR (2017)
  • World Junior Record: 26.97 – Nicolo Martinenghi, ITA (2017)
  • French Record: 27.36 – Giacomo Perez Dortona (2009)
  • 2021 Winning Time: 27.77 – Antonie Viquerat
  • Olympic Qualifying Time: N/A

Top 3

  1. Carl Aitkaci (Etoiles 92) – 27.51
  2. Jeremie Delbois (CN Antibes) – 27.68
  3. Pierre Goudenche (Girondins Bordeaux) – 27.85

In the non-Olympic event, Carl Aitkaci dropped more than a quarter of a second to take the win. Aitkaci was initially the second seed, but Antoine Viquerat dropped the final, so Aitkaci had the middle lane. Aitkaci finished 2nd in the 100 breast in a time of 1:00.69  Taking second was Jeremie Delbois in a time of 27.68, dropping .3 of a second from his time.

Women’s 200 Breast – Finals

  • World Record: 2:17.55- Evgeniia Chikunova, RUS (2023)
  • World Junior Record: 2:19.64 – Victoria Gunes, TUR (2015)
  • French Record: 2:25.12 – Justine Delmas (2021)
  • 2021 Winning Time: 2:27.27 – Fantine Lesaffre
  • Olympic Qualifying Time: 2:23.91

Top 3

  1. Zia Dupont (Angers Natation) – 2:28.12
  2. Adele Blanchetiere (Dauphins Toulouse) – 2:29.43
  3.  Lucie Vasquez (ES Massy Natation) – 2:29.57

With the qualifying time faster than the French national record, making the Olympic team in the event was always going to be a tough ask. Zia Dupont, who led the prelims, has a strong swim, hitting the wall in 2:28.12, an impressive performance, especially considering her prelim time was 2:31.65  and her personal best before today was 2:30.74, meaning she dropped over two seconds to record a new best.

Also swimming under the 2:30 barrier was Adele Blanchetiere, who posted a time of 2:29.43, and Lucie Vasquez, who stopped the clock at 2:29.57. The pair were both 2:33 in the prelims.

Men’s 50 Back – Finals

  • World Record: 23.55 – Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS (2023)
  • World Junior Record: 24.00 – Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS (2018)
  • French Record: 24.07 – Camille Lacourt (2010)
  • 2021 Winning Time: 24.87 – Mewen Tomac
  • Olympic Qualifying Time: N/A

Top 3

  1. Mewen Tomac (Amiens Metropole Nat.) – 24.83
  2. Lysander Osman (Asptt Montpellier) – 25.37
  3. Antoine Herlem (Dauphins Toulouse) – 25.40

The second in a row of non-Olympic events, the 50 back saw last night’s 100 back winner, Mewen Tomac, take lane 4. After swimming 25.20 this morning, Tomac casually dropped .37 seconds to finish in 24.83. Tomac has a personal best of 24.80 from the 2020 French Swimming Championships. Finishing 2nd in the race was Lysander Osman, who touched in 25.37, just .03 ahead of Antoine Herlem’s 25.40.

Tomac did not swim the 50 back at the 2023 Worlds, but in the short course, he is the reigning European champion.

Women’s 100 Free- Finals

  • World Record: 51.71 – Sarah Sjostrom, SWE (2017)
  • World Junior Record: 52.70 – Penny Oleksiak, CAN (2016)
  • French Record: 52.74 – Charlotte Bonnet (2018)
  • 2021 Winning Time: 53.34 – Marie Wattel
  • Olympic Qualifying Time: 53.61

Top 4

  1. Marie Wattel (CN Marseille) – 53.61
  2. Beryl Gastaldello (Etoiles 92) – 53.71
  3. Mary-Ambre Moluh (U.S. Creteil Natation) – 54.08
  4. Charlotte Bonnet (Olympic Nice Natation) – 54.57

With vital relay spots on the line the field was tight over the first 50. winner of the 100 fly, Marie Wattel, flipped just ahead of Beryl Gastaledello in 25.66, with the former Texas A&M swimmer just .03 behind. National Record holder Charlotte Bonnet was within striking distance as well, flipping in 25.90.

Fourth at the turn, Mary-Ambre Moluh, who finished in a heartbreaking 3rd in the 100 back, used a strong back half to move up and challenge the top three. She would overtake Bonnet, but the top two were too far ahead. Outside of Moluh, Wattel was the only swimmer to come home in under 28, splitting 27.95.

She would need every one of those milliseconds as her winning time equaled the Olympic standard. Gastaldello joined Wattel under 54, hitting the wall in 53.71, just a tenth away from qualifying individually in the 100.

All four should earn spots on the 4×100 free relay, should France choose to field a squad.

Men’s 100 Free- Finals

  • World Record: 46.80 – Pan Zhanle, CHN (2024)
  • World Junior Record: 46.86 – David Popovici, ROU (2022)
  • French Record: 46.94 – Alain Bernard (2009)
  • 2021 Winning Time: 47.89 – Maxime Grousset
  • Olympic Qualifying Time: 48.34

Top 4

  1. Maxime Grousset (CS Clichy 92) – 47.33
  2. Rafael Fente Damers (Dauphins D’Annecy) – 48.14
  3. Guillaume Guth (Dauphins Toulouse OEC) – 48.62
  4. Hadrien Salvan (Stade de Vanves) – 48.78

Grousset took out the first 50 fast, Manaudou-esque, flipping in 22.64 and carried that momentum through into the wall, hitting it in 47.33. The time stands as a new personal best for the Frenchman, who, after winning the bronze in Fukuoka, is only getting better and better.

50 100
Old PB (2023) 22.67 47.42 (24.75)
New PB (Today) 22.64 47.33 (24.69)

Rafael Fente Damers, who was the third seed after Manaudou’s scratch, had a swim of a lifetime, posting a time of 48.14 to also get under the OQT of 48.34 to book his spot to Paris. Hadrien Salvan, who was only in the final thanks to Manaudou’s withdrawal made the best of his second chance and finished 4th in 48.78.

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1 month ago

Same analysis for Kirpichnikova as for Marchand, she swims without opponents this week. Great race from Wattel but too far from the French record to hope for anything at the Olympics in this event. Grousset is definitely the one who has made the biggest impression on me since the start of the week!

1 month ago

Is there a reason why there is no recap of the men’s 100 free on this page?

Reply to  FST
1 month ago

thnaks for the update

The Magic Man
Reply to  FST
1 month ago

Do you see the page you commented on?

1 month ago

France’s 400 free relay is now in contention for bronze with Grousset (47.33 lead-off), Fente Damers (48.14 flat, which could mean a 47 mid flying split), Manaudou (flat start 47.90 PB, flying start 47.11 PB), and a 4th guy. They’d be out of the running if they use Salvan (probably a 48 low flying split) but maybe Marchand could help them drop a 46 high split.

Sapiens Ursus
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

I mean I think there’s credence to Marchans being the 4th guy but 46?

Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

Lol no way marchand splits 46 high. Maybe 47 mid-high. One wall isn’t enough to make up for his lack of freestyle speed

Ob man
Reply to  Dirtswimmer
1 month ago

He went 40.2 in yards. You can’t do that without great swim speed. Dressel also had amazing walls and “only” went 39.9. Essentially the whole gap is dressels start

1 month ago

Uncroyable! Incredible! Two swimmers qualified in the mens 100 free: beyond Grousset (47.33, new PB) the 17 year-old Rafael Fente-Damers who swam a huge PB (48.14) but, slamming the water after the finish, injured his left elbow: really hope isn’t something serious for this amazing swimmer in an historic day for him.

Reply to  nuotofan
1 month ago

It didn’t look good at all – I really hope he is okay after than incredible swim, brutal for both him and the French 4×1 if he is injured.

Reply to  nuotofan
1 month ago

Sorry, his left shoulder and he had a lot of pain

1 month ago

Did he just dislocated his shoulder celebrating? aussi je déteste la voix de l’interviewer

Ole 99
Reply to  Ploki
1 month ago

Sorry, Beisel can’t be everywhere

Reply to  Ploki
1 month ago

The one with the gray wig and glasses? If you want, I’ll happily trade it with Rowdy Gaines!