Charlotte Bonnet Sets French 100m Breaststroke Record Of 1:07.54 In Rennes; Marchand & Tomac Impress Once More

Charlotte Bonnet
Charlotte Bonnet: Photo Courtesy: KMSP/S.KEMPINAIRE

Charlotte Bonnet Sets French 100m Breaststroke Record Of 1:07.54 In Rennes; Marchand & Tomac Impress Once More

Charlotte Bonnet set a French 100m breaststroke record while Leon Marchand and Mewen Tomac continued their fine form that promises much come the Fukuoka worlds and beyond at the national championships in Rennes.

Bonnet started the day with the national mark of 1:07.76 from the Giant Open in March, a time she lowered to 1:07.71 in the morning heats.

The two-time world relay bronze medallist returned in the evening to reduce it once more, splitting 31.55/35.99 for 1:07.54 as she finished second behind Belgian Florine Gaspard who clocked 1:07.21.

It was bittersweet for Bonnet as the time was outside the cut of 1:07.12, the 28-year-old having booked a trip to the World Championships in the 200IM.

Marchand Makes It Four In Four

Marchand was second behind Enzo Tesic after the first 50 but a scorching backstroke leg of 28.67 – the fastest in the field by 1.76secs – propelled him into the lead.

Leon Marchand

Leon Marchand: Photo Courtesy: KMSP/S.KEMPINAIRE

He dominated thereafter to come home in his second-swiftest of the season behind only the 1:55.68 from the TYR Pro Swim Series in April.

The Bob Bowman-coached swimmer owns two of the top four performances this year with Shun Wang heading the rankings in 1:55.55 and Shaine Casas third in 1:56.06.

It was also the fourth-fastest of his career headed by the 1:55.22 that secured him the world title last year in Budapest and gives him the five top performances all-time by a Frenchman.

Marchand has now qualified for Fukuoka in four events, adding the short medley to the 200 breaststroke, 200 free and 200 fly with the 400IM to come.

While he was well inside the cut, second-placed Clement Bidard failed to qualify in 2:00.02.

Marchand said through the French Federation:

“I really focused on the technical parts. I don’t have a lot of speed in butterfly, which leads me to force (it) in backstroke.

“I think it’s a little tight at the end but I’m happy it’s a good race. I was flat out, that’s my level today. I’m quite happy with all that, but I’m one second off my best time and I now want to go under 1:55 at the World Championships.

“I’m starting to feel tired. The 400m medley isn’t going to be easy but I’m going to hang in there.”

Back To The Future For Tomac

Tomac has been on scorching form this week in Rennes, firing off a 52.87 blast to win the 100 back and book a trip alongside Yohann Ndoye Brouard to Fukuoka.

Mewen Tomac

Mewen Tomac: Photo Courtesy: KMSP / S.KEMPINAIRE

He qualified third for the 200 back final where he went 1:56.45 for the second-best performance of his career, 0.10 outside the 1:56.35 that steered him to fifth at the 2022 worlds.

Tomac – who won two relay medals at last year’s European Championships – split 27.25/56.34 (29.09)/1:25.95 (29.61)/1:56.45 (30.50) to go eighth in the 2023 rankings.

Antoine Herlem was also inside the cut in 1:57.11 but European champion Ndoye Brouard will have the sole focus of the 100 after finishing third in 1:57.30.

It has been a difficult season for Ndoye Brouard who has had to recover physically and mentally from a skiing accident.

Tomac said:

“A 200m backstroke hurts! At the finish, I realise a good time, it’s cool.

“I was a little tired this morning and I had to motivate myself to achieve this performance. I’m getting closer to my best time, which bodes well.

“I would like to win the 50m backstroke now to achieve the treble like in short course and also qualify for this event. I would like to do better than last year at the world championships. I had taken fifth place and I will aim for a podium.

“I swam faster this year than at the French championships in Limoges in 2022, which bodes well. I’m still going to fine-tune the little details….hoping to find a little more freshness.”

Wattel Books Second Swim

Marie Wattel added the 100 free to the 50 slot she booked on Tuesday, coming home 0.07 inside the cut in 53.81.

Beryl Gastaldello was 0.04 outside the qualification time of 53.88 in 53.92.

Tabatha Avetand set a French 18-year age-group record of 2:09.73 in the 200 fly although it was outside the qualification time of 2:09.07.

Denis Petrashov of Kyrgystan won the men’s 50 breaststroke in 27.51 with Carl Aitkaci the first Frenchman home albeit outside the cut in 27.66.

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