France Postpones Olympic Swimming Trials & Nationals Until June & All Other National Events Are Off


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France joined the long list of nations kicking Olympic trials and national championships off into the longer grass due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Marseille round of the Golden Tour next week is also off, as are a string of other aquatic sports events.

Having already called off its junior nationals, the French swimming federation (FFN) announced late today (Friday) that it has postponed its Olympic trials, scheduled for April 14-19 in Chartres. The event has been moved to a provisional date of June 23-29 subject to “development of the epidemic”.

France counts the likes of Olympic 50m freestyle champion of 2012 Florent Manaudou, Charlotte Bonnet, Beryl Gastaldello and Mélanie Henique among its key charges. The decision to abandon existing plans on the aquatics calendar followed an announcement by French President Emmanuel Macron that the country was going into lockdown, with all schools and universities closed and large gatherings forbidden among measures designed to contain and combat the spread of COVID-19.

The statement from the French Federation:

Following the new national directives and the solidarity effort necessary in view of the spread of COVID-19, a new executive committee of the FFN met today, and approved the following measures:

  • National competitions are suspended until further notice, starting today.
  • The French Swimming Course Championships in Chartres which were to be held from April 14 to 19 are postponed from June 23 to 29 subject to the development of the epidemic of course, and the holding of the Olympic Games on the dates scheduled. An adjustment to the selection procedures for the Olympic Games will be proposed to the CNOSF in the coming weeks.
  • The international competition “FFN Golden Tour Camille Muffat” scheduled in Marseille from March 20 to 22 is canceled.
  • The French Artistic Swimming Championships are postponed to the fall.
  • The meetings of the Water Polo Championships are suspended until further notice.
  • Competitions and meetings, whatever the level or the place on the French territory, are suspended from this day, and this until further order.
  • The federation recommends that its clubs suspend their activities, and temporarily renounce training, courses and group activities, with the exception of “elite” groups for which
  • arrangements studied with local authorities can be envisaged.
  • The CODIR of the federation which was to be held on the sidelines of the FFN Golden Tour Camille Muffat in Marseille will be held by videoconference.
  • The general meeting of the FFN which was to be held on April 24 and 25, 2020 is postponed to a date to be determined in connection with the Normandy league where it was scheduled.
  • INFAN and ERFAN training will be preferred by videoconference and should not exceed physical groupings of more than 5 people.
  • The activities planned on the occasion of the “water night” will be the subject of a joint communication with Unicef.

A weekly update will be made by the office and will report weekly on the development of the situation.

The French Swimming Federation is aware of the upheavals that these provisions will bring about, but has no doubt that all the players in our disciplines will be keen to show solidarity, and will be able to contribute to their full extent to the national effort to overcome at best this health crisis.

Extraordinary Events In Swimming History:

Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Italy, France, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil and Japan have all had major meets affected by the coronavirus pandemic, while in the United States, the NCAA Championships have been cancelled and USA Swimming has imposed a 30-day suspension on all events, while Canada is considering what to do about its Olympic trials early next month. In Italy, where swimmers are struggling to maintain normal routines, can’t get to practice and in some cases find pool time, a #stopolympics campaign was launched by the Nuoto website calling on solidarity among swimming nations to recognise that Olympic preparations have been blown off course and that it would be in the interests of fairness to postpone the Games for a time of calm beyond the coronavirus crisis. 

Our coverage:

Guidance on Water and Coronavirus 


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Vanessa Essam
4 years ago

Feel Aus trials are looking increasingly unlikely too ?

Carmen Cleare
4 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa Essam

Vanessa Essam ?

Peter Hocking
4 years ago

GB trials also seem unlikely bearing in mind the way we’re been lined up by our political masters….

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