French Open Day 2 – The French Shine in Front of Home Crowd

Full results

The Stade Aquatique Vichy Val d’Allier was packed for the second and final day of the action-packed French Open. The weather was better than it had been on Friday and the home team shone brightly. Four French athletes stood on the top rung of the podium today, and many more medaled in second and third place.

Men’s 1500m free

The race belonged to Canada’s Ryan Cochrane from start to finish. He’d already built up a half-second lead by the 100, and he continued to increase his lead by about a second per 100 through the 500. French teammates Damien Joly and Anthony Pannier battled for second. Trailing at the 500, Joly caught Pannier at the 850 (Joly split his thirds 5:06-5:04mid-5:04low) and claimed the silver medal. The finals standings were Cochrane 15:09.33, Joly 15:15.46, and Pannier 15:22.78. France’s Joris Bouchaut was fourth with 15:24.41.

Women’s 50m fly

The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker was first off the blocks and first to the finish in the women’s sprint fly. She seemed to coast in to the wall, winning in 26.00, just ahead of France’s Anna Santamans (26.32) and Béryl Gastaldello (26.36).

Men’s 200m free

France’s Clément Mignon was the first off the blocks in the men’s 200 free. He took it out hard, leading at the 50, and was up by about a half-second over Australia’s David McKeon at the 100. New Zealand’s Matthew Stanley was a full second back. McKeon gained a little on Mignon in the third 50, setting up a dramatic finish as the two men battled for the win. McKeon just edged the Frenchman, 1:48.34 to 1:48.58. Stanley came in third at 1:49.55.

Women’s 50m breast

It was clear from the start that Germany’s Dorothea Brandt would win the 50 breast. She had a great start and pulldown, putting her in a comfortable lead by the time she took her first stroke. Brandt finished in 31.51. Italy’s Arianna Castiglioni took second in 31.76. Caroline Ruhnau of Germany was third with 32.41.

Men’s 100m breast

The men’s 100 breast began like a repeat of yesterday’s 50: Joao Luiz Gomes Junior of Brazil was out front and turned first at the wall. France’s Giacomo Perez Dortona was next, followed by three more all bunched up together. Germany’s Marco Koch was sixth at the halfway point. Gomes Junior continued to lead down the back stretch, but all of a sudden Koch accelerated. With an incredible final 10 meters Koch got his hands to the wall just ahead of Gomes Junior, winning 1:00.61 to 1:00.89. Perez Dortona ended up third with 1:01.33.

Women’s 400m IM

It wasn’t the fastest 400 IM on record but it looked good. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (4:38.69) and Evelyn Verraszto (4:41.43) were smooth and strong; Hosszu in particular showed why she is so successful: technique and fitness. She was out in 1:01.3 and the only one who could really hang with her was Verraszto, at 1:02.9. Hosszu looked even better on the backstroke leg with her strong, even stroke, never straying from the center of the lane. She gained another second over her teammate in the breast. By then the two Hungarians were nearly a half a pool length ahead of the field. Verraszto narrowed the gap on the freestyle leg with a very strong final 50. Candice Hall of Great Britain was the third to finish; she went 4:55.65.

Men’s 100m fly

France nearly got their first gold medalist in the 200 free, then again in the 100 breast, so when Medhy Metella looked like he might win the 100 fly the crowd went crazy. Three of the eight were under 25s at the turn but the entire field was so bunched up it looked like it was going to be anyone’s race. Coming down the back stretch four leaders emerged: Metella, Albert Subirats of Venezuela, Jayden Hadler of Australia, and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh. Subirats had turned about a half-second before the other three, but all four of them were trading stroke for stroke down the middle of the pool. Just when it seemed too close to call, Metella pushed his way to victory amid enthusiastic cheering from the crowd. The final standings were Metella 52.63, Subirats 53.01, Hadler 53.05, Cseh 53.28.

During his interview, Metella said, “This win proves that the hard work is paying off. It’s a good time and I am happy to have won. I got off to a good start but I had trouble finishing. But I had the result I wanted and that’s what counts.”

Women’s 100m back

Daryna Zevina of Ukraine led wire-to-wire in the women’s 100 back. She swam a very solid race with no one really challenging. Zevina finished in 1:00.94 ahead of Germany’s Lisa Graf (1:01.77) and Iceland’s Eyglo Osk Gustafsdottir (1:02.15).

Men’s 50m back

Encouraged after the French victory in the men’s breast, the crowd was enthusiastically backing Jérémy Stravius, top seed from prelims. The Frenchman lived up to expectations and took first in 25.31. Italy’s Stefano Mauro Pizzamiglio (25.59) was second; Germany’s Carl Louis Schwarz, third (25.90).

Women’s 200m fly

The women’s 200 fly started out as a great race in the middle of the pool. Marie Wattel of France, Evelyn Verraszto of Hungary, and Sharon Van Rouwendaal of Netherlands were head-to-head through the 100. Wattel turned first, only slightly ahead of the other two. Van Rouwendaal had a strong third 50 and went ahead at the 150; she continued to increase her lead and finished first in 2:10.50. Verraszto had the fastest fourth 50 of them all, and while she couldn’t quite catch Van Rouwendaal she was able to put some distance between herself and Wattel. Verraszto took second with 2:11.41; Wattel was third in 2:13.12.

Men’s 200m IM

Brazil’s Thiago Pereira won an exciting 200 IM. He was out first in the fly and built his lead in the back. It looked like Hungary’s Cseh might challenge Pereira but he lost ground on the breast to Germany’s Markus Deibler. In the end it was Pereira 1:59.24, Deibler 2:00.09, Cseh 2:00.21.

Women’s 400m free

Hungary’s Hosszu began by doing what she’d been doing successfully throughout the meet: going out strong and getting an early jump on the field. She led by 1.5 seconds already at the 100 and by 2.5 at the 200. Lauren Boyle of New Zealand was in second and France’s Coralie Balmy in third. Hosszu was looking good, with a strong kick propelling her. Meanwhile, Balmy hadn’t yet put any legs into her stroke. That changed at the 200. The adrenaline coursing through the crowd from the last race hadn’t dissipated and it started to get loud. As Balmy moved to a six-beat kick the crowd went nuts. She finally caught Hosszu at the 350 and blew past her, winning in 4:06.68. Hosszu got second with 4:08.52 and Boyle was third, 4:11.23.

Men’s 50m free

As if the women’s 400 free wasn’t exciting enough, up came the event everyone was waiting for: France’s Florent Manaudou vs James Magnussen of Australia vs Brazil’s Cesar Cielo in the 50 free. A start, a finish, and no breaths in between. They all exploded off the blocks and there was a lot of splashing but it was clear Manaudou was going to take the race. He won in 21.71, with Magnussen in second (22.07) and Cielo, third (22.16).

Women’s 200m breast

Elisa Celli of Italy and Vanessa Grimberg of Germany were the sole non-French women in the “A” final of the 200 breast. The pair led the field from the outset and were two seconds ahead by the 100. Celli took off at that point and closed with an incredible final 100. Her winning time was 2:25.84 to Grimberg’s 2:28.82. Coralie Dobral finished first among the French contenders with 2:32.21 for the bronze medal.

Men’s 200m back

The men’s 200 back belonged to New York Athletic Club’s Arkady Vyatchanin from start to finish. First at the 50, Vyatchanin continued to extend his lead by about a second every 50 meters. He finished in clear water, clocking in at 1:56.26. Joseph Patching of Great Britain was second in 1:59.94; Christain Diener of German, third with 2:00.50.

Women’s 100m free

The final race of the meet was the women’s 100 free. It was a great race down the middle of the pool between Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands and Australia’s Emma McKeon. The two were about a half a second out front of the rest of the field, all chasing third place, by the 50 and continued to increase their lead in the second half. Kromowidjojo touched first in 53.71 to McKeon’s 53.93. France’s Charlotte Bonnet just touched out her teammate Anna Santamans for third, 54.69 to 54.98.



Lauren Boyle, Katinka Hosszu and Joao Luiz Gomes Junior all broke French Open records on Day One, netting €1,000 bonuses per record. At the end of the meet the Open rewards the top five swims of the meet based on FINA points (rather than high-point awards as it’s more commonly done at US-based meets). According to our calculations, the top five performances of the meet were:


BOYLE Lauren NZL *8:22.93* 946 pts w800fr  €  10,000
HOSSZU Katinka HUN 1:56.40 914 pts w200fr  €    5,750
MCKEON Emma AUS 1:56.40 914 pts w200fr  €    5,750
BALMY Coralie FRA 4:06.68 911 pts w400fr  €    1,750
KROMOWIDJOJO Ranomi NED 53.71 911 pts w100fr  €    1,750



GOMES JUNIOR Joao Luiz BRA *27.10* 953 pts m50br  €   10,000
MAGNUSSEN James AUS 48.55 902 pts m100fr  €     7,500
KOCH Marco GER 1:00.61 897 pts m100br  €     4,000
MANAUDOU Florent FRA 21.71 893 pts m50fr  €     2,000
VYATCHANIN Arkady APA 1:56.26 892 pts m200bk  €     1,500


* French Open record *

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8 years ago

good job by the Aussies. Not an easy job to fly half way around the world and produce world class times during preparation for Comonwealth Games.

bobo gigi
8 years ago

Ok. I didn’t understand there were 2 rankings for prize money. One for men and one for women. I believed there was only one.
I’ve checked and you’re right.
Lauren Boyle and Joao Luiz Gomes Junior are the winners of the 10000 €.

Overall a decent meet but which will not go down in history.
Hosszu has done her usual job but nothing more.
Magnussen and Cielo were far from their best.
Vyatchanin had his taper meet there? Well, it didn’t work as expected.
At least French swimmers have stepped up on day 2 and Manaudou was really impressive in the 50 free.

8 years ago

Et Monsieur Hollande is in his parlour counting out the taxes? Trois euros pour moi …..un seule euro pour vouz.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

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