France: Showdown Coming in W100 Free – Gastaldello, Wattel Vying for 1 Spot

2019 French Elite National Championships– 50M

Day 5: Saturday 20 April 2019

Women’s 100 Freestyle

  • FINA “A” cut: 54.49
  • Time to achieve in prelims to qualify for Worlds: 54.32
  • French record: 52.74 – Charlotte Bonnet (Olympic Nice Nat.) – 26/05/2018 – Saint-Raphaël

Top 8 Qualifiers

  1. Charlotte Bonnet – 53.63
  2. Marie Wattel – 54.30
  3. Béryl Gastaldello – 54.32
  4. Anouchka Martin – 54.81
  5. Margaux Fabre – 54.90
  6. Lena Bousquin – 55.21
  7. Assia Touati – 55.69
  8. Faustine Prouff – 55.91

There’s a showdown coming in the championship final of the women’s 100 free on Saturday night in Rennes. Top-seeded Charlotte Bonnet is already prequalified for France’s 2019 World Championships squad, having medaled in this event at 2018 European Championship in Glasgow last summer. That leaves only one spot on the roster up for grabs.

With two equally-capable takers.

Marie Wattel, who swims for Montpellier but trains at Loughborough University where she is a student, satisfied the first half of the qualifying rules by going 54.32 or better in prelims. Seeded second coming into the meet with 53.53, Wattel did just that, going 54.30 Saturday morning to take lane 5 in tonight’s final.

She wasn’t alone, however.

Béryl Gastaldello, who trains at Texas A&M University but swims for Marseille, also hit the qualifying time of 54.32 – on the nose. Gastaldello was seeded 4th with 54.67 (her best time is 53.98 from 2015 French Nationals).

Gastaldello and Wattel, who battled for the 100 fly title (which Gastaldello won with a Championship Record but failed to qualify for Worlds in the event because her prelims time was .16 short of the French standard for Gwangju) will face each other again. This time the stakes are higher. In the 100 fly, Wattel had already prequalified for World Championships; only the National Title was on the line. This time, it’s the chance to represent France individually in the 100 free on the world stage.

Qualified for Gwangju:

Women Event Men
50 free
Charlotte Bonnet 100 free Mehdy Metella, Clément Mignon
Charlotte Bonnet 200 free
400 free
800 free
1500 free David Aubry, Damien Joly
50 back Jérémy Stravius
Béryl Gastaldello 100 back
200 back
50 breast
100 breast
200 breast
50 fly
Marie Wattel 100 fly Mehdy Metella
200 fly
200 IM
Fantine Lesaffre 400 IM
4×100 free Clément Mignon, Mehdy Metella, Tom Paco Pedroni, Jérémy Stravius, Maxime Grousset
4×200 free
4×100 medley
4×100 free mixed
4×100 medley mixed


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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/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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