2014 French Long Course National Championships
- Dates: Tuesday, April 8 – Sunday, April 13, 2014; prelims 9:00 am, semis/ finals 5:00 pm
- Location: Chartres, France (GMT +1, or 6 hours ahead of N.Y., 9 ahead of L.A.)
- Results: Available Here
- Televised: Eurosport France
- Championship Central
Day Two: Wednesday, April 9 – Finals Contested:
Men’s 800 free: The elite (senior national) meet kicked off with the top ten seeds of the men’s 800 free. The fastest time coming out of the morning heats had been 8:07.37 from Charlie Cuignet of Toulouse. In the evening heat 2013 fourth-place finisher Anthony Pannier (Sarcelles) took it out first and led wire-to-wire, eventually touching in 7:56.11, a couple of seconds off his seed time.
This wasn’t the fastest 800 free final on record at French Nationals, but then again the Euro qualifying standard, at 8:04.2, was pretty generous. France’s top three distance swimmers, Pannier, defending champion Damien Joly (Antibes), and Joris Bouchaut (Toulouse) could pretty much cruise to qualification. As it turns out they finished first, fourth (8:01.02), and second (7:57.53), respectively. Coming in third, and qualifying for Berlin, was Axel Reymond of Le Plessis-Savigny, thanks to an 8-second drop for his first sub-8, 7:58.45.
Just for a little perspective, the French national record in the 800 is 7:48.28, set by Sébastien Rouault in 2010.
Women’s 200 back: Top-seeded Cloé Credeville (Marseille) won in 2:12.55. Although she was almost three seconds slower than her seed time she was nonetheless 1.5 faster than a year ago, when she finished second to Evelyn Verraszto of Hungary. Fantine Lesaffre touched second with 2:13.63, a second faster than her seed time and 2.5 better than last year. Both women qualified for Euros. Just missing the Berlin cutoff but earning a spot on the podium was third-place Justine Ress in 2:14.91, a 1.5-second improvement from her seed time.
Men’s 100 back: The matchup of the night pitted 2012 Olympic co-champions Camille Lacourt (Marseille) and Jérémy Stravius (Amiens) against each other for yet the nth time. While they turned virtually together at the 50, Stravius 26.48 and Lacourt 26.49, in the end it was Lacourt who got to stand alone on the top step winning 53.73 to 53.86. Benjamin Stasiulis (Marseille) took third with 54.83, while Eric Ress was fourth. Ress just missed the Berlin selection; although he entered the meet with 54.94 and swam 55.21 in semi-finals, his 55.25 final swim missed the cutoff by .01. With the exception of Florian Joly (Toulouse), the entire ten-lane championship final was off their seed times. Lacourt and Stravius still slip in to the world’s top 10 ranking for 2014, although we’ll see how long they stay there with all the national championships taking place over the next week or so.
A French national age group record was broken in one of the junior finals: Kryls Miatti of Mulhouse established the new standard for 15-year-old boys with his 58.72 final swim. The old record of 59.36 had stood since 2011. Miatti, who took silver in the boys’ 15-6 category, went 1:00.67 in prelims and 59.42 in semis.
Men’s 100 breast: Defending champ and French record-holder in the 50 breast Giacomo Perez Dortoma of Marseille won the 100 in a closer-than-expected race with Antibes teammates Thomas Dahlia and Quentin Coton. Coming in with a seed time of 1:00.55 to their respective 1:02.11 and 1:02.45, Perez Dortoma was expected to dominate the race. The trio finished in 1:01.20 – 1:01.60 – 1:01.88 and all qualified for Berlin.
The future of French breaststroke was on display as two young men set national age group records in Chartres. In prelims, seventeen-year-old Jean Dencausse of Toulouse went 1:02.64 to finish fourth overall and break his own national record for 17-year-old boys (1:02.73). He broke it again in semis, going 1:01.94. He was just off that time in finals, but did manage to finish fourth in the men’s open race.
Meanwhile, Tanguy Lesparre of Cannes took down in spectaclular fashion one of the oldest 15-year-old records on the books: a 1:06.45 100 breast from 1989. Lesparre broke it the first time with his 1:05.94 prelims swim. He then lowered it twice: 1:05.35 in semis and 1:05.04 to win the 15-16 final.
Day Two: Wednesday, April 9 – Semi-Finals Contested:
Women’s 100 fly: Evelyn Verraszto of Hungary (59.65) and Nice teammates Camille Muffat (59.69) and Marie Wattel (59.75) are teed up for an exciting final tomorrow night.
Men’s 200 IM: David Verraszto (Hungary, 2:01.06), Jeremy Desplanches (Switzerland, 2:03.45), Romain Landry (Toulouse, 2:03.68), and Ganesh Pedurand (Toulouse, 2:03.86) were the top qualifiers for tomorrow’s final.
Women’s 100 breast: Charlotte Bonnet (Nice, 1:09.48), Claire Polit (Montpellier, 1:10.18), Coralie Daubral (Montauban, 1:10.53) led the way after semis in the 100 breast.
Men’s 200 free: Grégory Mallet of Marseille earned the middle lane with his 1:48.27 semi-final swim. On either side will be Yannick Agnel (1:48.42) and Théo Fuchs of Amiens (1:48.92).
Women’s 100 free: In a tough double, Nice’s Muffat had the top 100 free time out of semi-finals with 54.73. Teammates Anna Santamans, Bonnet, and Chloé Hache will also contest the championship final.