Charlotte Bonnet Demolishes French Record in 100 Free with 52.74

2018 French Elite Long Course Nationals at Saint-Raphaël

  • Tuesday, May 22 – Sunday, May 27, 2018
  • Stade Nautique Alain Chateigner
  • 50m
  • Prelims at 9am local/Finals at 6pm local (Saturday 5:30, Sunday 5:45)
  • Selection for European Championships
  • Televised on beIN SPORTS
  • Meet Central
  • Start Lists
  • Live Results

France’s Charlotte Bonnet has demolished her own National Record in the 100 free and jumped to #3 in the world so far this season with 52.74. Swimming at French Long Course Nationals in Saint-Raphaël, the protégée of Fabrice Pellerin at Olympic Nice Natation clocked a 53.37 in prelims to set the Championship Record and come within 1/100 of her best time, the 53.36 that took down Malia Metella’s long-standing national mark in the event at Golden Tour in Marseille last month.

Bonnet came back in the final with the goal of lowering her own PB and maybe breaking 53. She did that and then some. Out in 25.41, she was home in 27.33 for a huge 52.74. Bonnet now ranks third in the world, behind the Campbell sisters and ahead of Sarah Sjostrom, for the 2017-18 season.

2017-2018 LCM WOMEN 100 FREE

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Bonnet has improved in leaps and bounds over the last two years on the shorter end of her freestyle range. She first broke the 54-second barrier at 2016 French Nationals and Olympic Trials. In the last two years, she has continued to chip away at her time:

Time Date Meet Location
52.74 5/26/2018 SAINT-RAPHAEL
53.36 4/8/2018 MARSEILLE
53.37 5/26/2018 SAINT-RAPHAEL
53.65 5/27/2017 SCHILTIGHEIM
53.72 1/20/2018 GENEVE
53.77 7/27/2017 BUDAPEST
53.80 6/5/2016 MONACO
53.87 2/4/2018 NICE
53.93 8/10/2016 RIO DE JANEIRO
53.93 4/3/2016 MONTPELLIER
53.97 4/30/2017 AMIENS


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3 years ago

Wow, incredible swim.

3 years ago

Something is going on with female sprinters in Europe. They improve personal bests in 100FR by a 1 second or so during the period of one year. And it is not that the size of improvement is most surprising but the fact that it’s happening in the area where any improvements are quite questionable. First it was Pernille Blume, then it was Sarah Sjostrom and now CHARLOTTE BONNET. And they are not teenagers.
Wow !! From 53.65 last year to the 52.74 !

3 years ago

This is what I love about the sport. On the men’s side, the rapid increase in quality on the 200breast with many breaking 2:08 (and recently a few under 2:07) in a short space of time. The 100 fly improvements when a 51 won’t even medal (yet in the Olympics people go ish-slower). 51.14 got a silver in rio but a 50.82 got the bronze in budapest. On the womens side, the sharp improvement in the 100 free with many breaking 53 seconds so soon. In 2011 a 53.45 won the world championships, in 2012 that wouldn’t have even medalled, now a 53.00 (2012 gold medal winning time) may barely qualify to the final in last place. Even the 50… Read more »

Jim C
Reply to  Rice
3 years ago

As far as the breast and fly are concerned, there does seem more specialization in the sense that there are fewer top swimmers in both 100 and 200.

3 years ago

Thats a fabulous swim + time . We have a new 100 free speedster among the 52’s club

3 years ago

It’s hard to call it Club any more since so many swimmers are there. You don’t call 53 a Club, do you. 52 sec becomes a norm. She is the member of #15

Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

i call it the way i want to call it – if it doesn’t please your taste , i am totally fine with it ( i dont care at all ) . 52 is not the norm Buddy , its time to open your eyes a bit further on the number of swimmers going into the 52 – not so many .

3 years ago

After a PB in the 200 another was on the cards for the 100 but not many would have predicted a drop of this magnitude. It was once considered exceptional to go 52. Not so any more.

3 years ago


The tone of your comment generates suspicion on Charlotte Bonnet’s performance.

I wonder how much you know about her training with her great coach Fabrice Pellerin (the one who was at the source of 3 gold medals for his swimmers at the London Olympic Games). She has been trained for many years to be competitive on the 200 m freestyle. Her trainer and her agreed that they should focus on the shorter distance now. This makes sense as she is 23.

Since past Fall, her training is about gaining speed. You don’t necessarily drugs to achieve that…

Reply to  Crawlone
3 years ago

I definitely don’t know that much about CHARLOTTE BONNET as you do. I was impressed with her recent achievement since I thought of her mainly in connection with great 200FR results. If my admiration was awkwardly expressed in the way that offended you, please accept my sincere apology.

3 years ago

Kudos to coach Pellerin too

Reply to  Crawler
3 years ago

I actually got a little bit confused with your comment. CHARLOTTE BONNET’s personal best in 200 free is 1:55.80 that in my opinion is less competitive compare to the 52.74 in 100 free. So haven’t her coaches seen what they are dealing with? She is more sprinter than a middle distance swimmer. Did she have more chances to medal in 200 event? No.
Until last two years madness in women 100 free, the 52.7 guaranteed the place on podium. In 200free one had to be at least 1:55 low.

bobo gigi
3 years ago

I wrote yesterday that I expected a sub 53 from Charlotte. But 52.74 WOW! Her speed training focus is paying off. That’s huge. Congrats to her and also to her coach Fabrice Pellerin who is definitely a genius of freestyle.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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