French short course nationals kicked off today in Montpellier, France sporting a fast 25m competition which was highlighted with swims from stars such as Yannick Agnel, Florent Manaudou, and Camille Lacourt.
The finals session kicked off tonight with the men’s 200m IM. Raphaël Stacchiotti clocked in at 1:56.71 to to take home a win over a tough field. French star Yannick Agnel who recently returned to France to train finished about half-a-second behind Stacchiotti with a time of 1:57.26. Ganesh Pedurand was third in 1:58.20
Lara Grangeon took the women’s 200m fly in 2:05.41, winning the event by less than a second as Sharon Van Rouwendaal kept it decently close with a time of 2:06.20. The two were ahead of the rest of the field as Marie Wattel, who will be representing France at the 2014 short course World Championships this December, rounded out the top three with a 2:08.44.
Heading over to the 400m freestyle there was a definite absence without Agnel, and Clément Mignon took advantage of the situation touching the wall first in 3:41.21. Mignon is also on the French short course worlds roster. Finishing behind Mignon was Tunisia’s Ahmed Mathlouthi in 3:42.14.
Paul Pijulet was the winner of the men’s 200m backstroke, taking the event in a time of 1:55.75. He established a decent lead which was good enough to hold off Florian Joly. Joly grabbed the silver with a 1:56.66 ahead of Paul-Gabriel Bedel who clocked in at 1:56.80.
In the women’s 100m backstroke, 200m fly silver medallist Sharon Van Rouwendaal grabbed the gold in 58.76. 2014 short course worlds team member Mathilde Cini finished second in the event with a time of 59.26. Rounding out the top three was Pauline Mathieu in 1:00.18.
Mehdy Metella, who had a great summer which included being a crucial part of French relays, won the 100 fly by a very sizable margin posting a 50.20 to win the event. Second was Jordan Coelho in 51.64. French backstroke star Camille Lacourt was third in 52.65.
Hungarian swimmer Evelyn Verraszto, who has had plenty of short course practice this season with multiple World Cup swims under her belt, rocked a 2:08.03 to win the women’s 200m IM final. Finishing behind her was Charlotte Bonnet in 2:08.23 followed by Lara Grangeon in 2:08.90 keeping the top-three very close together.
The men’s 100m breaststroke was one of the fastest races of the night as two French records fell following the completion of the race. Giacomo Perez Dortona threw down a swift 57.88 to win the event and in the process broke the previous championship record set by Hughes Duboscq back in 2008. Second place finisher Jean Dencausse broke his own age-group record in the 17-year-old category with a 58.32. The previous record was held at 59.89 marking a huge time drop for Dencausse.
Fanny Lecluyse of Belgium took the title in the women’s 50 breaststroke with a time of 30.67. Finishing second was Adeline Williams in 31.42 ahead of Fanny Deberghes who touched in at 31.84 for the bronze.
The men’s 50m freestyle final was jam-packed with talent as it displayed multiple swimmers who have represented France internationally. Florent Manaudou, who is one of the headlining names on the French roster for 2014 short course worlds, swam a 21.10 to grab the gold and swim the fifth fastest time in the world this year. Second was Clément Mignon in 21.45 ahead of Nosy Pelagie in 21.87. Yannick Agnel, who seemed to focus on some off events at these championships was fourth, just out of a medal position in 22.06.
Charlotte Bonnet won the last event of the evening, the women’s 100m freestyle, in 53.53. Cloé Hache wasn’t far behind her in 53.94 followed by Margaux Fabre in 54.00.
For full meet results click here.