Marco Koch Swims Season-Best 200 Breast to Finish French Open


Showing off just how deep and competitive the field is at the 2019 French Open, there were 2 ties for event titles on the 2nd and final day of the meet on Wednesday in Chartres.

The first came in the men’s 100 free, where the titans of French sprinting and the titans of Brazilian sprinting went toe-to-toe. After the dust settled, Marcelo Chierighini of Brazil and Mehdy Metella of France tied in matching 48.83s. While their times were similar, their races were not at all. Chierighini, as he is wont to do, went out hard, and turned at 23.0: 8-tenths ahead of Metella. But Metella closed in a hurry to run down Chierighini for the co-win. He went from 5th to 1st over the final length of the race.

Split Comparison:

  • Chierighini – 23.03/25.80 = 48.83
  • Metella – 23.82/25.01 = 48.83

Finishing 3rd in that race was Brazil’s Breno Correia in 49.17, followed by Pedro Spajari in 4th in 49.29. French teen Maxime Grousset was 5th in 49.32, while Brazil’s Gabriel Santos was 6th in 49.39. For Grousset, that swim was less than a quarter-of-a-second from his lifetime best.

The other title tie came in the women’s 50 backstroke, where Kira Toussaint of the Netherlands tied with Australian sprint specialist Holly Barratt in 28.13. Toussant won the 100 back on Tuesday evening, while this was Barratt’s first, and only, win of the meet.

Of note, Mie Nielsen, who’s been off her best times for most of the summer so far, was just 7th in 29.04.

Also of note on day 2 of the meet, Germany’s Marco Koch swam a season best time of 2:08.62, shaving a tenth off his swim from the Bergen Swim Festival in early April. That swim comes after placing just 7th in the 100 breaststroke on Tuesday in 1:02.4.

Other Day 2 Winners:

  • After dominating the 400 IM on Tuesday, Britain’s Hannah Miley added a win in the 200 IM on Wednesday in 2:14.58. France’s Cyrielle Duhamel was nose-to-nose with Miley through the first 100 meters, but as she so often does, Miley pulled away on the breaststroke and took nearly a two-second margin of victory.
  • Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk won the women’s 50 free in 24.90, avenging her narrow loss to Charlotte Bonnet in the 100 on Tuesday. Bonnet tied for 2nd place with her French National Team counterpart Anna Santamans in 25.32.
  • Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen won the women’s 100 fly in 59.06, beating out France’s Marie Wattel, who was 2nd in 59.13. That’s Ottesen’s best swim since April, when she swam 58.9 at the Danish Open.
  • Louise Lefebvre of France won the women’s 200 back in 2:17.33. She’s primarily a sprint backstroker who stretches up to this 200, winning against a soft field.

Men’s Races:

  • Brazil’s Leonardo De Deus won the men’s 200 fly in 1:56.65, which jumps him into the top 30 in the world this season. He finished 4 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Brendan Hyland of Ireland, who touched in 2:00.70.
  • Italy’s David Casarin won the men’s 400 free in 3:53.28, narrowly avoiding another tie with Tunisia’s Mehdi Lagili, who was .01 back in 3:53.29.
  • 18-year old French swimmer Yohann Ndoye Brouard won the men’s 100 back in 54.99. Of note, the Irish Record holder Shane Ryan tied for 3rd in 55.69, and Jeremy Stravius did not swim the race at all.
  • Luxembourg’s Raphael Stacchiotti won the men’s 400 IM in 4:22.24. He surged on the freestyle leg, splitting 59.5 and making up 2.5 seconds on, and passing, Netherlands’ Arjan Knipping for the win.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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