Bousquet is Back: Fred Beats Florent in 50 Fly to Book Flight to Barcelona

Aidan Pongrace is an American high school student who just-so-happens to be studying and training abroad for his senior year in Rennes, France, the host of this year’s French National Championships. He is a member of the legendary NCAP team in the Washington D.C. area, and has previously written for the Washington Post’s ‘Reach for the Wall’ swimming website.

Day One of French Nationals had one big surprise: Alain Bernard. Don’t get your hopes up. The swimmer, infamous not only for his sprinting talents but also his taunting of the American 4×100 Free relay in Beijing, isn’t there to compete. Like me, he’s there reporting. For the most part, the top seeds seemed to know that they were about to come away with a victory. The top seeds made their way nonchalantly onto the blocks as if saying, “No worries, I’ve got this one in the bag already.” Nevertheless, France is setting itself up for a strong showing in Barcelona this summer.

400 Free Women Final:

Making it look easy, Camille Muffat came away from the final of the Women’s 400 Free as a national champion and in doing so posted the world’s top time in the event this year according to FINA world rankings. Her 4:04.16 blew away the field by nearly four seconds. By the 100-meter mark she was already a second ahead of eventual second place finisher Coralie Balmy: one to watch for as the distances increase. Denmark’s Lotte Friis, a nother swimmer who will get better as the races get longer, took third place in 4:10.90.

100 Back Men’s Semi-Final

Once again choosing the “let’s make it look easy” route, the 2011 Shanghai co-world champions in the event, Camille Lacourt and Jeremy Stravius cruised into the wall on their way to winning their respective heats. Both had over a body length lead over the rest of the field by the time they finished. Stravius more so than Lacourt really cruised into the wall and still managed to post the evening’s top time of 54.37 just a smidge faster than Lacourt’s 54.48.

American-trained and dual citizen Eric Ress took the 3rd seed in 55.24. That’s a very good swim for him, though his better chance at stealing a spot from Worlds from those top two is in the 200 later in the meet.

200 Back Women’s Semi-Final

Nothing too exciting here. Evelyn Verrastzo, a Hungarian, posted the night’s top time of 2:11.19, just off the FINA A standard, but it is unclear whether this is a qualifying meet for her or not. If it is I wouldn’t be surprised to see her better the 2:11.09 FINA A standard time in finals. Meanwhile, the fastest Frenchwoman was Cloe Credeville who won the first heat in 2:15.04

100 Breast Men’s Semi-Final

The British are coming! The British are coming! The men’s semi final had two Brits in it this evening with one of them, Joseph Welstead, the top seed in heat one. He and Jamie Graham dipped were two of only five swimmers to dip under 1:03 and both made it into the final tomorrow night.

The top qualifier was Frenchman Giacomo Perez Dortona of CN Marseilles who won the event in 1:01.84. Perez Dortona placed 17th in London in the event, but last year was his big breakout season, so this year he’ll look to build to Barcelona and improve that finish.

50 Fly Women’s Final

Olympic Nice Natation carried Camille Muffat’s win into the women’s 50 fly where they occupied half of the final heat. Melanie Henique of Amiens Metropole Natation ended up taking the title in 26.47 and qualifying for Worlds. Olympic Nice Natation’s Marie Wattel took second to qualify as well in 26.56. That breaks France’s National Age Record for 16-year olds in the event, in addition to stamping her ticket for Worlds.

50 Fly Men’s Final

Florent Manaudou and Frederick Bousquet faced off in the sprint butterfly event: the two best Frenchmen and two of the best in the world. Bousqet pulled of the win in an impressive 23.00. To put that into perspective, that time is the fastest time in the world in 2013 by 0.27 seconds and just over half of a second off the world record set back in the suit era. Manoudou posted the world’s second fastest time in the world this year with a 23.14.

For Bousquet, that’s a bit of redemption after missing the Olympic team and vowing that his career was not over. Those two will both challenge for medals in this race at Worlds. Belgium’s Yoris Grandjean was 3rd in 23.58.

In the final two events of the night, France earned no qualifiers in either the women’s 50 breast nor the men’s 400 free. A Tunisian, Ahmed Mathlouthi, achieved the FINA A standard with a time of 3:49.06 but, like Evelyn Verratzso, it is unclear whether this is a qualifying meet for him.

Full, live meet results available here.

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The photo is sideways…


With Bosquet guaranteed a place in the team, FRA gets a worthy replacement for Lefert for the 400 FR.


Debatable, with every member of the team other than Agnel in debatable shape (at least in their ability to pop 47 splits), France will be hard pressed to repeat their Olympic performance. Bousquet would need to capture form in the longer distance that he has not had since 2003 (discounting suited swims)

Philip Johnson

When was the last time Bosquet put up a good 100 swim?


true, but bosquet has always been such a great relay swimmer. His relays swims were always so much faster than his individual ones.

bobo gigi

It’s not Bosquet but Bousquet!


IMO not too many overwhelming swims, with Bousquet’s 23.00, and Manadou’s bridesmaid performance being the highlights. With Cielo’s fury tampered somewhat by injury, these two could easily go 1-2 this summer. We haven’t seen their 50’s yet, but it certainly looks like both could be 21.5 of better. Manadou has shown that he can deliver big time drops on the big stage, so we could be seeing textile record-esque performances in the 50fly. On the other hand, I was not terribly impressed with Muffat’s swim. Judging from her 4:04 split in the 800free swim last summer, I suspected that had Katie Ledecky swam the 400free, she would’ve at least placed third with a 4:01 level swim. My hunch is that… Read more »

Philip Johnson

I agree, Ledecky is far too talented to be limited to one event. I see her at least making the relay in the 200, making the team in the 400, and of course her pet event the 800 (I wonder if she’s going for the 1500?).

And watch the 800 free relay WR to go down this summer. With Franklin, Schmitt, and possibly Ledecky dropping time, it could be under threat.


Probably just another day at the office for Muffat – she knew she had this in the bag and had no need to push anything this year. Given that she never really took a break after the Olympics and had those incredibly impressive 400 and 800 SCM records I’m sure she has more to give. I think last year Muffat and Pellerin were deliberately going fast and toying with pacing to play with the minds of the other competitors as well as give Muffat the confidence that she could deliver when it really came to the big stage. The situation is different now – she’s the Olympic Champion and WR holder Short Course, no need to show all her cards… Read more »

Swim fan

Ledecky is swimming at Mesa this week

We will have a right picture of Cielo condition (after surgery last year) in 2 weeks..

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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