Mehdy Metella Swims 51.4 in 100 Fly on Day 1 of 2019 French Open


A battle royale in the women’s 100 free final highlighted the first day of competition at the 2019 French Open Swimming Championships in Chartres.

The mid-week meet, which for many will serve as a stopover in route to the big-money Sette Colli this weekend, featured a deep international field of competitors race in 16 events.

With just over a month to go until the 2019 World Championships in Korea, big times are already going on the board as the summer season heats up. In the final women’s final of the day, that included a 54.17 win from Charlotte Bonnet in the women’s 100 free. Over the last 2 years, Bonnet has not only improved greatly in absolute speed, but her in-season racing has gotten quite fast as well. In 2018, for example, she was under 54 in this race 6 times at non-championship meets. That includes a 53.3 at the French Open, which last year was 2 weeks deeper into the summer.

Bonnet was followed to the finish by Dutch veteran Femke Heemskerk in 54.19, her French peer Beryl Gastaldello in 54.32, another Dutch sprint veteran Ranomi Kromowidjojo in 54.70, and the youngest of the elite French sprint contingent Marie Wattel in 54.74. Heemskerk was the fastest to the turn – not usually her style – opening in a fast-for-her 26.10.

While the men’s field overall wasn’t nearly as deep as the women’s on day 1, there were a few singular standout performances – led by a 51.44 in the men’s 100 fly from France’s Mehdy Metella. That’s already almost-as-fast as he swam at the 2018 European Championships, where he took silver in this event.

Other Day 1 Results:

Women’s Races

  • Netherlands swimmer Kira Toussaint was the only woman under a minute in the 100 back, touching in 59.91. She was followed by Germany’s Laura Riedemann in 1:00.79 and Denmark’s Mie Nielsen in 1:01.45. Nielsen has now been slower than 1:01 nine times this season, including just a 1:01.9 at the Mare Nostrum stop in Barcelona. All 9 of those swims are slower than her slowest recorded time of 2018 (1:01.18).
  • Brazil’s Jhennifer Conceicao won the women’s 50 breaststroke in 30.84. That’s just .42 seconds away from her National Record that was set at the Mare Nostrum stop in Monaco 9 days ago.
  • Camille Dauba of France won the women’s 200 breaststroke in 2:26.94. That’s the 2nd-best time of her career behind a 2:25.6 from the French Nationals in April.
  • Ranomi Kromowidjojo won the women’s 50 fly in 26.12, beating out France’ss Marie Wattel (26.17), Australia’s Holly Barratt (26.17), and Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen (26.23).
  • Great Britain’s Hannah Miley won the women’s 400 IM, running away, in 4:46.14. The next-closest competitor was 12 seconds behind.
  • Italy’s Aurora Petronio won the women’s 200 fly in 2:12.66. After struglling in 2018, she’s rebounded a bit in the new year, though she’s still not near the teenage form that carried her to a 2:08 in 2017.
  • France’s Joana Desbordes won the women’s 400 free in 4:17.48. This race was a relatively-light field as compared to the rest of the day’s competition, with top-seeded Reva Foos of Germany scratching the race.

Men’s Races

  • Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches, who trains in France, won the men’s 200 IM in 1:58.06. He was a 1:57.7 at this same event in 2018. After a conservative opening 100 meters, he closed in 1:02.3 – faster than he closed in his season-best swim at the French Championships in April (1:56.8). That was similar to his pattern from this meet last season, where he opened off-his-pace but closed very well.
  • In the men’s 50 free, Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini won in 22.32, out-battling Jesse Puts of the Netherlands in 22.38. Pedro Spajari (22.44) and Gabriel Santos (22.45) were mid-pack in the A final.
  • Another Brazilian win came in the men’s 200 free, where Breno Correia swam 1:47.83. That matches, to the hundredth, his time from the Pro Swim Series stop in Des Moines in March.
  • Jeremy Stravius won the men’s 50 back in 25.09, beating out the Irish Record holder Shane Ryan in 25.38.
  • Brazil’s Leonardo De Deus won the men’s 200 back in 1:58.03 – nearly 3 seconds faster than the field.
  • Netherlands’ Arno Kamminga won the men’s 100 breaststroke in 59.72.
  • David Aubry out-battled Damien Joly in the men’s 1500 free by a margin of 15:19.80 to 15:20.39. Joly led most of the race, but Aubry was a full second faster in the final 100 to take the win.

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2 years ago

It says 54.1 on the main site

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  DEAN IS GOD
2 years ago

Yes, please fix the picture caption.

2 years ago

Gonna be one of the best races this year

2 years ago

No Manaudou at this meet?

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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