Led by Schreuders, International Swimmers Shine at 2023 French National Championships


With the 2023 French Elite Championships wrapping up, a number of foreign athletes competed alongside the French swimmers, with many hitting season-bests and a few national records along the way. Most of the swimmers represent countries that were former French colonies, but a few athletes have made the move to train with French clubs year-round.

You may not have seen him in many ‘A’ finals, due to the meet restricting the number of foreign athletes competing in their top 8 to just one swimmer, but Mikel Schreuders had quite the meet. A native of Aruba and former Mizzou Tiger, he now trains year-round with CN Marseille alongside the likes of fellow sprinters Florent Manaudou and Melanie Henique.

The 50 free was the only championship heat in which Schreuders swam, in which he finished in 3rd behind the aforementioned Manaudou and runner-up Maxime Grousset. His time of 22.04 was a personal best by over three-tenths and lowered his national record of 22.37 that he set at the 2022 South American Games.

The 50 free, however, was not the only national record to fall for Aruba. Swimming in the B-finals in the 50 fly and 50 breast, Schreuders also dipped below his previous records.

New National Record Old National Record
50 Free 22.04 22.37 (2022 South American Games)
50 Fly 23.85 24.58 (2022 South American Games)
50 Breast 27.47 27.52 (2022 World Championships)

The 2016 and 2021 Olympian swam at last year’s World Championships in Budapest, where his best finish was 13th in the 50 breast, swimming the time listed above. Speaking to SwimSwam he said, “I was actually really happy with most of my swims since this wasn’t [a] fully taper meet for the summer” His time in the 50 free represents his first ‘A’ cut of this calendar year.

Schreuders was not alone in hitting an ‘A’ cut. While much of the attention was on Charlotte Bonnet, who broke two French records in breaststrokes, Belgian Florine Gaspard swam her way to first in both the 50 and 100 breaststrokes. Like Schreuders, Gaspard now trains at CN Marseille. Gaspard’s time in the 100 breast was 1:07.21 which represents a new personal best, getting her under the ‘A’ cut of 1:07.35. Her time in the 50 was 30.73, just .2 off of the national record she set in April at the 2023 Belgian Open Swimming.

At the 2022 World Championships, her best placing was 17th in the 50 breast, where she finished with a time of 31.10.

Also swimming well in the breaststroke events was Denis Petrashov. A native of Kyrgyzstan and a Louisville Cardinal, he is probably best known to the swimming community for his 3rd place finish at the 2023 NCAA Championships in the 100 breast. Like Gaspard, he finished first in both the 50 breast (27.51) and 100 breast (1:00.33). Both times are a little off the personal bests and national records (27.28/1:00.03) he set at the Westmont stop of the Pro Swim Series in April.

Petrashov was not the only NCAA swimmer at the French Championships to make the ‘A’ final. Swimming for her hometown team Grenoble Alp ’38, Oumy Diop, who represents Senegal internationally, swam 27.59 in the finals of the 50 fly. She also swam in the ‘B’ final of 100 fly, touching in 1:02.76. Stateside, Diop just finished her freshman season at Florida International.

Other notable swims from foreign swimmers (this is by no means an exhaustive list):

  • Anna Egorova, who represented CS CLICHY 92, placed first in 400 free, touching in a 4:07.51, just a tenth off her season-best set at the Russian National Championships
  • While off of his personal bests, Algerian Jaouad Syoud swam a 24.14 in the 50 fly, just a tenth off his own national record.
  • Swiss swimmers Nina Kost and Jeremy Desplanches both made multiple A-finals. Kost’s best finish was 4th in the 50 back (28.97) and Desplanches’ was 3rd in the 200 fly (2:00.47). They both had been named previously to the Swiss team headed to Fukuoka.
  • Representing Morocco, the Georgia Tech Hornet, Imane El Barodi swam new personal best in the 50 breast (32.58) and in the 100 breast (1:12.38)

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5 months ago

If memory serves, Manaudou still represents CN Marseille but trains with Antibes (roughly 200kms east).

5 months ago

Go Mikel!