French Elite C’ships: Metella, Manaudou, Gastaldello Seek OLY Bids


The 2020 French Elite Championships are upon us, with some of the nation’s best athletes set to attain Olympic qualification Thursday, December 10th through Sunday, December 13th in Saint-Raphaël.

This 4-day meet represents the first domestic qualifying opportunity for French swimmers who have through June 20th of next year to qualify for the Games. The French Elite Championships in Chartres is slated for June 15th-20th.

In total, over 410 competitors comprised of 199 women and 215 men representing 103 clubs will be vying for the roster spots, with athletes needing to hit the qualifying times at the end of this post.

Among the entrants are Florent Manaudou and Marie Wattel, along with Beryl Gastaldello, with the trio representing powerful players in the just-concluded International Swimming League (ISL) season 2. Manaudou is entered in the 50m and 100m free, as well as the 50m fly, while both Wattel and Gastaldello are entered in the women’s 50m/100m free and 50m/100m fly.

Of whether or not his experience in the ISL will give him an advantage here, 30-year-old Manaudou told FFN, “I don’t think so.

With the ISL season over, he says, “Being at home, sunbathing, working out in a swimming pool that I know well; I feel better in my head than at the end of ISL because it was starting to be a bit long.”

Of where he’s at from a physical standpoint, Manaudou stated, “I do not yet have all the tools to perform at my best. I do not swim too badly but I achieve the same times as at Interclub when I was still playing handball.

“I still have work to do if I want to swim 20”2 in the short course like in Doha in 2014. In the long course, I stagnate at 21”6 and I have to take this up a level, because at the Games, that will not be enough.”

Fellow national record holder teammate Mehdy Metella is entered in 6 events, indicating that his shoulder is coming back to form, if not there already. Set to swim the 50m/100m/200m free and 50m/100m/200m fly, 28-year-old Metella underwent shoulder surgery in January of this year and said his recovery would take him out of Olympic contention.

With the postponement of the Games, Metella’s Olympic bid has new life. He has already raced this year, partaking in October’s local Grenoble meet.

Additional key entrants at these Championships include the following:

Charlotte Bonnet, Oceane Cassignol, Jeremy Desplanches, Valentine Dumont (BEL), Anna Egorova (RUS), Melanie Henique, Damien Joly, Anastasia Kirpitchnikova (RUS), Hector Pardoe (GBR), Jordan Pothain, Fantine Lesaffre, Gregory Mallet, Antoine-Marc Olivier

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11 months ago

Off topic: Starting today at Brazil the Brazil Trophy is underway, not full of swimmers as Pinheiros opted out, but on Prelims (now 16 years old) Stephan Steverink improved his PB on 400 IM from 4:21:35 to 4:20:09, but finals is on afternoon only. His main event the 1500 free is still to come.

11 months ago

Metella redemption is coming

11 months ago

No backstroke for Gastaldello?

Last edited 11 months ago by wow
11 months ago

Hopefully Metella can come back firing.

Does anyone know what goggles Metella is wearing in the cover picture? Looks like Swedes with some weird stability clip thing for the strap?

11 months ago

curious to see Gastaldello results. not even sure what’s her best event in LCM.
anyway.. very tough qualifying times

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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