Mehdy Metella ‘In,’ Charlotte Bonnet ‘Out’ of French Worlds Roster


France has named an 8-swimmer roster for the 2018 FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships that will be held from December 11th-16th, 2018 in Hangzhou, China.

Relay European Champion Marie Wattle had already announced that she would decline a spot on the team, but the reveal of the final roster had an even bigger absence: that of Charlotte Bonnet, who said her conditioning wasn’t satisfactory on Sunday after winning 2 races (400 free, 100 IM) and breaking a French Record.

Her absence is a big blow to French medal chances, especially in relays. The 23-year old only has 1 World Short Course medal, a bronze as part of France’s 200 medley relay in Doha in 2014 – the only time she’s raced the short course edition of Worlds. After taking bronze in the 100 free and gold in the 200 free at this summer’s European Championships, however, she would’ve been a medal favorite in Hangzhou.

Après une semaine riche en émotions et surtout en efforts, il est temps de tirer un bilan de ces derniers jours 😃Après…

Posted by Charlotte Bonnet – Officiel on Monday, November 19, 2018

The country’s other two 2018 European individual medalists will be in attendance, however. Mehdy Metella, who owns 4 World Championship medals in short course (all on relays), qualified after breaking the French Record in the 100 fly on Thursday in 49.58. He was the Worlds bronze medalist in the 100 free in 2017, but had an off meet at the European Championships. Still, that ‘off meeet’ was good enough for silver in the 100 fly and bronze in the 100 free, and he’s already proclaimed that even his French Record last week wasn’t enough and that he’s shooting for more in China.

Metella is the only member of the French silver-medal winning 400 free relay from 2016 that will swim again in 2018. Among the missing from that group is Jeremy Stravius, who also took a silver in the 50 back individually in Windsor and won 3 events at French Nationals last week.

The other individual medalist is Fantine Lesaffre, who won the European title in the women’s 400 IM (4:34.17) by almost a second this summer. That was her last race before the French Championships, where she broke a French Record in the short course version of the 200 IM (2:07.67) and a Championship Record in the 400 IM (4:28.13).

Melanie Henique finished 7th in the 50 fly in 2016, and Mathilde Cini had a best finish of 17th in the 50 back at the last edition. Those two and Metella are the only returners for France from a team that finished 19th on the medals table.

French Team, 2018 World Short Course Swimming Championships:

Women (4):

Men (4):

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1 year ago

Fly races are gonna be good

1 year ago

Such a small team from France ..

bobo gigi
Reply to  Verram
1 year ago

Short course has never been important for most of our swimmers or coaches here in France. They prefer to train in long course for next summer.

1 year ago

This short course championship looks more and more like a poor man’s event. The event in Turin was going to be much more relevant. No wonder they killed it.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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