2020 FRENCH ELITE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Thursday, December 10th – Sunday, December 13th
- Saint-Raphaël, France
- LCM (50m)
- Olympic Qualifying Meet
- French Olympic Qualifying Procedures
- SwimSwam Preview
- Start Lists
- Live Results
Day 1 Heats Highlights
Mehdy Metella was in the water during day 1 prelims of these 2020 French Elite Championships, with the 28-year-old putting his shoulder to the test after having surgery in January of this year.
As we reported in our meet preview, the national record holder had already competed in a local meet in October but at the time his coach Julien Jacquie indicated the swimmer was intentionally not going full speed. The coach/athlete duo merely had the goal of “testing his shoulder at these levels of engagement.”
Metella’s times at that meet included a 23.45 in the 50m free and 54.70 in the 100m fly.
Flash forward to this meet in Saint-Raphaël, however and all signs point to Metella’s recovery moving in the right direction. The man took the 2nd seed in the 100m fly, posting a much quicker mark of 52.81. That sits just .13 outside of Swissman Jeremy Desplanches‘ top seeded swim of 52.68.
For Metella he owns the national record at a time of 50.85 from 2019. He’s striving to at least get under the 51.96 Olympic threshold to cross that feat off his list.
The women’s 100m free is also set-up to see some speed during tonight’s final, as Marie Wattel paved the way with a morning mark of 53.90. That teamed up with Charlotte Bonnet as the only sub-54 second swimmers of the field, with both already easily clearing the Olympic qualifying time of 54.38.
As for Bonnet, the woman owns the French national record with her 52.74 stunner from 2018, but Wattel’s effort here marks just the 3rd time the Loughborough-trained star has been under the 54-second barrier. The fastest she’s ever been is 53.53 from over 2 years ago.
Rounding out the top 3 was ISL near-MVP Beryl Gastaldello, with the former Texas A&M Aggie posting 54.43 to put her name into the possible gold medal right for tonight’s final.
Finally, in the men’s 200m back, 18-year-old Mewen Tomac soared with a new lifetime best to take the top seed. Posting 1:57.81, the man overtook his previous PB of 1:58.31, which is the time he produced en route to snagging silver at the 2019 FINA World Junior Championships.
We’ll see what French Age Record holder Tomac can muster in tonight’s final to try to shave more time off in pursuit of a minimum 1:57.50 Olympic qualification.