Florine Gaspard Breaks Belgian Record, Qualifies for Paris Olympics in Amiens

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 1

December 19th, 2023 News

15th Annual Meeting des Hortillons

  • December 15-17, 2023
  • Amiens, France
  • Long Course Meters (50m), Prelims/Finals
  • Live Results

A week off the European Short Course Championships in Romania, a group of French-trained swimmers took to the long course pool in Amiens, France to begin Olympic preparations. That included swimmers like Maxime Grousset who raced at the Euros, and others like Belgium’s Florine Gaspard who did not.

Gaspard was the big story of the weekend. She swam 24.65 in the women’s 50 freestyle final, which crushes the Belgian Record of 25.17 that was done earlier this year by Roos Vanotterdijk, who is only 18. Gaspard also broke that record with a 25.11 in prelims.

Gaspard’s previous record of 25.19 was done at the US Open three weeks ago, and her best time coming into the year was just 25.80 as her focus has previously been almost entirely on the breaststroke events (where she’s had a good 2023 as well). She also recorded wins in the 50 (30.75) and 100 (1:08.25) breaststrokes in this meet.

Gaspard is still 21, with a birthday between now and the end of the year. That’s especially noteworthy because each of the six fastest swimmers in French history hit their best times in this event when they were at least 23 years old – a reasonable analogy given the cultural overlaps between the two nations and the fact that Gaspard move to CN Marseille last year to train for the Olympics.

That swim sneaks Gaspard under the Olympic “A” standard of 24.70 and locks her in for the Paris 2024 Games. She joins the qualified swimmers Lucas HenveauxValentine Dumont, and the aforementioned Vanotterdijk as early qualifiers for the Games. That list of four is double already the pair that Belgium sent to Tokyo, with both of those swimmers having since retired.

The French National Record holder Melanie Henique was 2nd in 24.77 and 16-year-old Albane Cachot was 3rd in 25.31. Cachot’s swim breaks the French National Record for her age that was previously set by Elodie Schmitt in 2008 at 25.47.

Cachot later tied the 16-year-olds record in the 100 free, posting a 55.18 to match the swim done by Charlotte Bonnet in 2011. Bonnet is the current all-ages National Record holder in that event.

An Aruban National Record also fell at the meet when Mikel Schreuders swam 26.98 in the 50 breaststroke. That breaks his own personal best of 27.47 done at the French Championships in June by half-a-second and moves him into the all-time top 40 globally in the event.

Other Noteworthy Results

  • Maxime Grousset, who won four medals at the European Championships including gold in the 100 free, eased back into long course with a single race – the 50 free. He swam 21.81 to beat out Schreuders by half-a-second. Grousset’s best time of 21.57 was done at the 2022 World Championships, with this 21.81 being the 6th-best of his career and his fastest outside of a national or international championship.
  • Another Euro participant Yohann Ndoye-Brouard swept the backstroke races, winning the 50 in 24.89, the 100 in 53.02, and the 200 in 1:56.23. In all three distances, he beat Mewen Tomac, who won Euros gold in the 50 and 100.
  • David Aubry road his taper to wins in the 800 free (7:51.13) and 1500 free (14:59.36). The latter came just six-tenths ahead of Damien Joly.
  • Also in that 800 free, 18-year-old Tunisian Ahmed Jaouadi finished 2nd in 7:53.99. A Tunisian distance culture is building in the footsteps left by Olympic and World Champion Ahmed Hafnoui.
  • 19-year-old Nans Mazellier swam 48.97 in the 100 free, knocking two tenths off his best time from the European U23 Championships. His best time entering the calendar year was 49.50. He now ranks 5th among French swimmers this year
  • Wissam-Amazigh Yebba won the men’s 200 free in 1:46.87, which is a best time for him by two-tenths and ranks him 4th in France this year.

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3 months ago

18 year-old Jaouadi also swam 3.47.75 in the 400 free (won by Aubry in 3.47.63); there are interesting similarities with the times swum by Hafnaoui before Tokyo.
Two NAGs record for 14 year-old LeChevalier in the 50 and 100 back. Cachot, Jaouadi (7.36 in the 800 free) and LeChevalier were all protagonists at the SC Nationals Junior Champs, a week ago Swimrankings – 3e Championnats de France Juniors en petit bassin, #83420 – Montlucon (FRA), 9 – 12 Dic 2023

Last edited 3 months ago by nuotofan

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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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