French Elite Nationals: Aubry, Joly Throw down 14:54/14:56 Miles at Day 1 Prelims


  • From Tuesday 16th to Sunday 21st April 2019
  • Prelims from 9.30am; final C from 18:00; final A / B from 18h30
  • Host: Brittany Regional Swimming League
  • Bréquigny swimming pool, 12 boulevard Albert 1er, RENNES
  • 50m
  • List of commitments: click here
  • Results: click here



  • Favorite: Marie Wattel (Montpellier Metropole Swimming)
  • Outsiders: Beryl Gastaldello (CN Marseille), Margaux Fabre (Canet 66)
  • FINA “A” cut: 58.48
  • Time to achieve for the world championships: 58.30
  • FRENCH RECORD:  Aurore Mongel (MON) – 56.89 (27/07/09 – Rome)


  1. Marie Wattel – 57.81
  2. Beryl Gastaldello – 58.46
  3. Anais Arlandis – 1:00.09
  4. Lena Bousquin – 1:00.14
  5. Margaux Fabre – 1:00.49
  6. Josianne Valette – 1:00.51
  7. Mathilde Descamps – 1:01.49
  8. Assia Touati – 1:01.70

Béryl Gastaldello was seed with an NT (no time), and earned the 2nd seed for finals from the slow heats. Marie Wattel posted a speedy 57.81 to take the top seed for finals, and hit both the FINA A cut and the French standard for World Champs in the event.Wattel’s time lands her 10th in the world this year. Gastaldello was just 0.16 seconds off the French standard this morning, but she did hit the FINA A cut by 0.02 seconds. Remember that the French selection process is that the qualifying standard must be achieved in prelims.  However, as per the French selection criteria, Gastaldello may still enter the 100 fly at Worlds if she qualifies in another event, given that she did achieve the FINA A cut this morning. That being said, Wattel and Gastaldello set themselves apart from the rest of the field considerably this morning, and we should see a good race between the two of them in finals.

MEN’S 400 IM

  • Favorites: Jeremy Desplanches (Switzerland, ONN), Leon Marchand (TOEC)
  • Outsiders: Clément Bidard ( Antoine Mulhouse, ON), Antoine Marc (Mulhouse ON)
  • FINA “A” cut: 4:17.90
  • Time to achieve for the world championships: 4.16.10
  • FRENCH RECORD:  Anthony Pannier (CN Braud St Louis) – 4.16.97 (23/04/2009 – Montpellier)


  1. Jeremy Desplanches – 4:17.17
  2. Samy Helmbacher – 4:17.78
  3. Leon Marchand – 4:19.41
  4. Antoine Marc – 4:21.27
  5. Geoffrey Renard – 4:23.42
  6. Clément Bidard – 4:23.71
  7. Emilien Mattenet – 4:24.54
  8. Ramzi Chouchar – 4:25.96

Nobody in prelims managed to hit the French qualifying standard, although the top two, Jeremy Desplanches and Samy Helmbacher, did both achieve the FINA A cut. Desplacnhes is Swiss, so he’s not competing for spots on the French Worlds team. That means that for now French will have nobody on the Worlds team in the men’s 400 IM. Like Gastaldello in the women’s 100 fly, if Helmbacher qualifies in another event, he may still swim the 400 IM at Worlds as a complementary event, since he achieved the FINA cut. This event was altogether pretty tight this morning, with just 4.1 seconds separating 1st-4th. It’s likely that we’ll see the big race tonight between Desplanches and Helmbacher.

Desplanches actually outsplit Helmbacher on every leg except breaststroke, where he split a 1:13.62 to Helmbacher’s 1:11.68. No one in the field was under 1:00 on the free leg, which we’ll watch to see if that changes in finals.


  • Favorite: Mehdy Metella (CN Marseille)
  • Outsiders: Maxime the Great (Amiens Metropole Nat), Serguei Comte (EMS Source)
  • FINA “A” cut: 23.66
  • Time to achieve for the world championships: 23.30
  • FRENCH RECORD: Fred Bousquet (CN Marseille) – 22.84 (22/04/2009 – Montpellier)


  1. Mehdy Metella – 23.59
  2. Maxime Grousset – 23.66
  3. Jeremy Stravius – 23.81
  4. Pierre Henry Arrenous – 24.16
  5. Nicolas Vermorel – 24.22
  6. Yonel Govindin/Osama Sahnoune – 24.35
  7. Thomas Piron – 24.37

The favorite going into the meet, Mehdy Metella, came out on top in prelims. Maxime Grousset, as expected, was right behind Metella. Again, no one hit the French qualifying standards, but Metella and Grousset both hit the FINA A cut. In this instance, however, Metella has already qualified for the Worlds team in the 100 fly and 100 free, so he could choose to swim the 50 fly as his complementary event at Worlds. Jeremy Stravius was not far behind Grousset, touching just 0.15 seconds slower.


  • Favorite : Anna Egorova (RUS, Montpellier Metropole Nat)
  • Outsiders: Lara Grangeon (CN Caledoniens), Océane Cassignol (Montpellier Metropole Nat)
  • FINA “A” cut: 4:10.57
  • Time to achieve for the world championships: 4.09.06
  • FRENCH RECORD: Camille Muffat (ONN) – 4.01.13  (27/07/09 – Rome)


  1. Fantine Lesaffre – 4:13.28
  2. Anna Egorova – 4:14.15
  3. Joana Desbordes – 4:14.90
  4. Lara Grangeon – 4:16.91
  5. Aurelie Muller – 4:16.99
  6. Oceane Cassignol – 4:18.29
  7. Alizee Morel – 4:18.97
  8. Nolwenn Nunes – 4:20.68

Fantine Lesaffre had a good race this morning to earn the top qualifying spot over Anna Egorova, the favorite going into the meet. The field was well off the French qualifying standard of 4:09.06, and the FINA A cut – 4:10.57. That being said, as of right now, there won’t be anybody representing France in the women’s 400 free at World Champs. There is still a chance, however, that someone will end up on the roster. Lesaffre is already qualified for Worlds in the 400 IM, so if she hits the FINA cut tonight, she may choose to swim the 400 IM as a complementary event.

Lesaffre swam the fastest this morning by taking the race out the quickest. Lesaffre was 2:05.01 at the 200 mark, compared to 2:05.80 for Egorova, and 2:05.70 for Joana Desbordes. Lesaffre was then able to expand her lead over those two even further in the final 200 by a slight margin.


  • Favorite:  Théo Bussière (CN Marseille)
  • Outsiders: Thibaut Captain (Cergy Pontoise), Antoine Marc (Mulhouse ON)
  • FINA “A” cut: 59.95
  • Time to achieve for the world championships: 59.90
  • Record of France: Hugues Duboscq (CN Le Havre) – 58.56 (27/07/2009 – Rome)


  1. Theo Bussiere – 1:00.70
  2. Antoine Viquerat – 1:01.16
  3. Thibaut Captain – 1:01.61
  4. Thomas Boursac Cervera Lortet – 1:01.83
  5. Wassim Elloumi – 1:02.07
  6. Clement Mignon – 1:02.21
  7. Theo Berry – 1:02.41
  8. Jean Dencausse – 1:02.49

Theo Bussiere qualified as the top seed, touching as the only swimmer under 1:01. No one in the field hit either the FINA A cut or the French Qualifying standard this morning, Antoine Marc, who we considered to be an outside shot at winning the title, finished 9th this morning after qualifying 4th in the 400 IM. Bussiere used a quick 32.21 on the 2nd 50 to pull ahead of the rest of the field.

MEN’S 1500 FREE 

  • Favori: Damien Joly (Montpellier Metropole Nat)
  • Outsiders: Marc-Antoine Olivier (Denain), David Aubry (Montpellier Metropole Nat)
  • FINA “A” cut: 15:07.38
  • Time to achieve for the world championships: 14: 59.18
  • Record of France: Damien Joly (CN Antibes) – 14: 48.90 (08/12/2016 – Rio de Janeiro)


  1. David Aubry – 14:54.42
  2. Damien Joly – 14:56.96
  3. Paul Beaugrand – 15:15.94
  4. Marc-Antoine Olivier – 15:28.91
  5. Joris Bouchat – 15:29.38
  6. *Ahmed-Ayoub Hafnaoui – 15:31.06
  7. Mathis Castera – 15:32.59
  8. Paul Barascud – 15:37.60

France went out with a bang this morning, hitting not one, but two more automatic qualifiers for World Champs. Along with Wattel in the women’s 100 fly, David Aubry and Damien Joly each hit the French qualifying mark of 15:59.18 this morning, earning them each a ticket to Gwangju. Aubry and Joly set themselves far apart from the rest of the field, finishing roughly 20 seconds ahead of the 3rd place finisher: Paul Beaugrand. Aubry’s time clocks in at 5th fastest in the world this year, while Joly is 9th.

Both Aubry and Joly swam very consistent races, each keeping their 100 splits in the upper :59 and low 1:00 range. Aubry only split above 1:00.00 on 6 100s, while joly did on 7. Aubry also solidified his lead on the last 100, throwing down a 57.19 to Joly’s 58.34. This will surely be an exciting race at tomorrow’s finals session, as Aubry was only 5.53 seconds off the French National Record, which happens to be held by Joly from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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5 years ago

For the 1500 free times, are those rankings including the Italian Nationals the the Swim Open Stockholm results? It was 3 guys under 14:50 in Stockholm alone.

5 years ago

Camille Muffat wasn’t born yet in 27/07/89 . And the record wasn’t set in Rome, I think. Please correct the line about French record in W400FR.

Milady boy
Reply to  Yozhik
5 years ago

Muffat was born in 89, and the record was set 19/03/12 in Dunkerque

Reply to  Yozhik
5 years ago

“FRENCH RECORD: Camille Muffat (ONN) – 4.01.13 (27/07/09 – Rome)” is still not good.
The personal best of Camille Muffat in 400FR is indeed 4:01.13 but was swum on the 18th day of March of the year 2012 during Elite French championships in textile suite.

Thomas Selig
5 years ago

Desplanches is Swiss, so French qualifying times are irrelevant for him.

Slightly disappointing that Bussiere wasn’t closer to being sub-60, though I assume he may still make the squad as a relay member? Anyone have a link to the qualifying criteria?

Thomas Selig
Reply to  Spencer Penland
5 years ago

Thanks for that Spencer. Interesting that there is only a time criteria for prelims and not for finals, though this ties in with recent French thinking that their swimmers were arriving at the big meets and just not used to having to swim fast in prelims.

Given the QT for medley relay is 3:34:09, Bussiere’s 60:7 puts them at real risk of not qualifying a team for that relay. Would need say 54.0 back, 51.2 fly and 48.2 free to make it. Metella has the latter two times from Glasgow, but can (presumably) only use one, so they’ll need people to really step up in prelims.

Milady boy
Reply to  Thomas Selig
5 years ago

You have to meet the time criteria in the prelims and finish first or second in the A final to be qualified