arena Swim of the Week: Pacome Bricout Hits 15:00 To Set French Age Record In 1500 Free

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Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

Pacome Bricout wrapped up a sensational week at the French Elite Championships in style on Friday, setting his second age group record of the meet in the men’s 1500 freestyle.

Bricout, 18, went toe-to-toe with France’s two fastest 1500 freestylers in history, David Aubry and Damien Joly, before settling for third in a time of 15:00.81.

Bricout crushed his lifetime best by more than seven seconds, having previously been 15:08.01 in March at the Camille Muffat meet in Nice. When he uncorked that performance, Bricout dropped a mind-boggling 32 seconds, with his previous best time having sat at 15:40.04 from just the month prior.

With Joly and Aubry setting the early pace, Bricout ended up being nearly eight seconds quicker than he was in March over the first 800 meters, and then managed to essentially match his previous pace over the final 700 (7:05.00 today versus 7:04.43) to drop more than seven seconds.

Bricout Split Comparison

March 2023 June 2023
58.35 57.20
1:59.57 (1:01.22) 1:56.93 (59.73)
3:00.42 (1:00.85) 2:56.36 (59.43)
4:01.08 (1:00.66) 3:55.90 (59.54)
5:01.63 (1:00.55) 4:55.30 (59.40)
6:02.17 (1:00.54) 5:55.38 (1:00.08)
7:02.96 (1:00.79) 6:55.52 (1:00.14)
8:03.58 (1:00.62) 7:55.81 (1:00.29)
9:04.44 (1:00.86) 8:56.30 (1:00.49)
10:05.54 (1:01.10) 9:56.89 (1:00.59)
11:06.45 (1:00.91) 10:57.85 (1:00.96)
12:07.51 (1:01.06) 11:59.13 (1:01.28)
13:08.54 (1:01.03) 13:00.61 (1:01.48)
14:09.53 (1:00.99) 14:01.63 (1:01.02)
15:08.01 (58.48) 15:00.81 (59.18)

His opening 800 split of 7:55.81 was under his lifetime best entering the meet, 7:56.78, though he brought that all the way down to 7:50.29 earlier in the competition.

In that swim, Bricout broke the French Record for 18-and-unders which previously belonged to Tommy-Lee Camblong (7:53.59), and he did the same in the 1500 free.

Bricout’s time of 15:00.81 took down the 2021 mark of 15:01.86 established by Sacha Velly, who was 16 at the time of his swim.

In March, Bricout had said he was hoping to qualify for the European Junior Championships with the goal of winning gold there, and he exceeded those expectations this week as he appears to have qualified for the World Championships.

In the 800 free, he was third, but runner-up Marc-Antoine Olivier has been suspended and is ineligible to compete in Fukuoka, though he’s appealing the decision. If it doesn’t get overturned, Bricout will head to Worlds.

Bricout currently trains under well-known French distance coach Philippe Lucas, and one of his training partners is Logan Fontaine, who was fourth in the 1500 and sixth in the 800 in Rennes.

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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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