SAINT RAPHAEL, France, April 14. THE second day of swimming at the French long course nationals saw a supercharged final in the men's 50 free that added a new member to the 21-second club.
Just two weeks after welcoming daughter Manon to the world, Fred Bousquet blasted the field in the 50 free with a winning time of 21.71 to cement his place as the fastest man in the world in 2010. Bousquet's teammates on the 2008 400 free relay team that won silver in Beijing rounded out the top four. Fabien Gilot, who trains with Bousquet in Marseilles, took second in 21.97 to become the second man under 22 seconds this year. It's the third-fastest swim of 2010, with Bousquet's 21.95 from last month just a little faster. Alain Bernard, the 50 free bronze medalist in 2008, was third in 22.08. Olympic silver medalist Amaury Leveaux was fourth in 22.11.
Notably, Bousquet posted a 22.06 in the prelims of the 50 free.
Watch the video here:
Men's 1500 free final
Sebastien Rouault, the two-time NCAA champion in the 1650-yard freestyle and French national record holder, won the metric mile in 15:04.87, the third-fastest swim of the year. Only Ryan Cochrane (14:56.83) and Robert Hurley (15:00.96) have been faster in 2010. Rouault was well ahead of second-place finisher Anthony Pannier, who swam a 15:15.78. Xavier Lepretre rounded out the top three with a 15:22.54.
Women's 100 free semifinals
Gabriella Fagundes was the top swimmer in the two semifinal heats with a 55.84, a slight improvement on her prelim swim of 55.91. Angela Tavernier qualified second for the final with a 56.01 and Coralie Balmy, the winner of the 400 free on Tuesday, qualified third with a 56.06.
Men's 100 back final
Camille Lacourt made a run at Jeremy Stravius' national record of 53.16 set at last year's nationals, but fell short with a 53.29. The time – for now – puts him third in the world in the event, though Japan's Ryosuke Irie, the fourth-fastest in the event, is set to swim in the 100 back final in Tokyo Thursday. Rounding out the podium were Stravius in 54.22 and Eric Ress in 54.62.
Men's 100 breast final
Two-time Olympic bronze medalist Hugues Duboscq got slower in the 100 breast as he progressed through the heats, semis and finals. After a prelim swim of 1:00.61 that put him second in the world behind Brenton Rickard, Duboscq posted a 1:00.94 in the semifinal. In today's final, Duboscq won in 1:00.95, with Britain's Kristopher Gilchrist second in 1:01.44. Dorton Giacomo Perez was third in 1:02.00.
Results of the women's 200 IM semifinals and the women's 200 butterfly semifinals were not available.