French Swimmers Set New Records at Fukuoka World Championships

2023-07-23 06:35:11

Major entry for the two leaders of the French, this Sunday morning in Fukuoka. Maxime Grousset even hit hard in the 50m butterfly, setting the fastest time in the heats. His 22”74, while his personal best was 22”90 since the European Championships last summer, above all corresponds to a new French record, the 24-year-old New Caledonian having swum a tenth of a second faster than the 22”84 achieved by Frédérick Bousquet in 2009 and equaled by Florent Manaudou when the latter won the world title in the specialty in 2015. it is also the 2nd world performance of the season, behind the 22”62 of the Russian Oleg Kostin, obviously absent.

” Cool ! It was nice, reacted Maxime Grousset with a huge smile. I felt really good at the start. When I saw that I was in front, or next to Dylan (Carter, Trinidad and Tobago), I said to myself: “It’s good, this will do it”. And I don’t intend to stop there. I will try to do even better tonight (in half, from 1:23 p.m. French time) to qualify. In the final, as usual, I will try to win. »

Merchant can do better

A good hour later, Léon Marchand commented on his performance in the 400m medley series (2nd time in 4’10”88) with the same term as Grousset. “It was cool, let go of the reigning world champion of the event. I was in a hurry to start, the course was a bit long at the end, I really wanted to start my first race. ” Poured into the last series, next to the American Olympic champion Chase Kalisz, who trains with him in Arizona under the orders of Bob Bowman, Marchand (21) started the race perfectly. “It went pretty well, I did a good first 200, that’s what I wanted to do,” noted the Frenchman.

In fact, when he won last year by brushing against Michael Phelps’ world record (4’4”28 against 4’3”84), Léon Marchand had swallowed the butterfly-back sequence in 1’58”66, but went to 1’57”24 in Fukuoka. “The rest, I think I can do better tonight (final at 2:21 p.m. in France). I managed a bit, he admitted. So, I still have trouble at the end because I’m not really in my swimming. But it was a good 400. “Obviously, and even if his runner-up in 2022, the American Carson Foster, was a bit faster in series (4’9″83), Léon Marchand will have only one objective in the final: “I want to win, he breathes. I want to win a title at the World Championships. »

Wattel “a little soft”

Vice-world champion in exercise last summer, Marie Wattel posted the 11th time in the 100m butterfly series in 58”02. “I felt a little soft,” she said. It was not my best race. I know I still have a little under my feet, we’ll see tonight (semi-finals from 1:12 p.m. in France). It didn’t swim very fast and I think I adapted a little bit to the race. It wasn’t very smart because I saw myself 2nd or 3rd, and in the end I finished 4th. There are always learnings. »

As often, the 26-year-old Marseillaise did not hide her face: “It’s also good to get a little slap, we’ll have to get moving this evening, remobilize and run. Why not try to win the half and be more aggressive. »

Relays miss out on Olympic qualification

The challenge was simple: by qualifying for the world final, the relays validated their quota for the Olympic Games. Alas, neither the women (10th in 3’38″52) nor the men (12th in 3’14″54) managed to hoist their 4×100 m in the Top 8. At the conclusion of the men, Florent Manaudou was not enough to win the precious sesame.

“It’s a bit of a shame because it’s not swimming that fast in the first series (Italian victory in 3’12”53), the second was much faster and we can’t really hang on to the others, observed the captain. We’re not very far, five tenths. It’s a bit of a shame but we did what we could. In recent years, it has not necessarily been the strongest relay. We had it very strong in the past. We are in the process of rebuilding all that with guys swimming their first World Championships, that’s good. There will remain a small chance of qualifying for Paris 2024 at the next Worlds which will be organized in February in Doha. But many French people have decided to skip this deadline.

Like the relays, the other Blues engaged in this first session stalled. In particular Charlotte Bonnet and Fantine Lesaffre who achieved exactly the same time (2’13”28) to share 17th place in the series of the 200m medley, the first elimination round. “I’m disappointed because I felt great for a few weeks, regretted Charlotte Bonnet. I was in but I quickly charged on the legs. I had a hard time holding the girls. I clearly lack experience. »

The story was substantially identical on the side of Fantine Lesaffre: “I expected better than that. The week is not over, I still have the 400m medley. I’m disgusted with what I did but I don’t want to stay focused on it. When I’m hot, I can’t analyze it, I’ve been doing really well in the water for the past few days, and I was still smiling when I was warming up. Afterwards, I didn’t have the best feelings in the race, but I wasn’t in agony either. »

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