French International Meet: Early Global Pacesetting Occurs on Day One

NANCY, France, January 21. THE French opened up their long course season with some early world-best targets for the rest of the globe during the first day at the French International Meet in Nancy.

Camille Muffat led off the meet with a 4:07.81 to win the women's 400 free. Coralie Balmy claimed second-place honors with a 4:09.49, while Ophelie Aspord turned in a third-place 4:17.76. Heading into the day, Kate Ziegler had the top time in the early year with a 4:08.28 from the Austin Grand Prix.

Camille Lacourt threw down the early world-leader in the men's 50 back with a strong 24.88. He owns the French record with a near-world record time of 24.07. Jeremy Stravius took second in 25.20, while Dorian Gandin placed third in 26.17.

Femke Heemskerk rang up the early world-leader in the women's 50 free with a 25.35. Missy Franklin had posted the previous global pacesetter with a 25.50 at the Austin Grand Prix. Muffat showed some range with a second-place 25.60, while Inge Dekker captured third in 25.94.

Alain Bernard turned in a bellwether time of his own with a 22.26 in the men's 50 free to clear the early world-leading time of 22.55 set by Sebastiaan Verschuren in Antwerp earlier this month. Fabien Gilot finished second today in 22.59, while Yannick Agnel wound up third in 22.85.

Meanwhile, Stravius held off Sebastien Rouault, 3:51.37 to 3:51.55, in the men's 400 free. The previous top time in the early rankings was a shared 3:53.64 by Chip Peterson and Ward Bauwens. Guillaume Strohmeyer pocketed third in 3:55.91.

Julie Pujol topped the women's 100 breast in 1:11.57 with Eva Garrigues taking second in 1:12.71. Claire Polit placed third in 1:12.82. Hugues Duboscq followed in the men's 100 breast with a 1:02.05. Giacomo Perez Dortona touched second in 1:02.92, while Thomas Rabeisen captured third in 1:03.80.

Kim Vandenberg became the fifth woman under 1:00 in the women's 100 fly in the early goings of this year with a 59.74 for the win. Dekker took second in 1:00.67 for her second podium, while Aurore Mongel touched third in 1:00.91. Romain Sassot earned the men's 100 fly title in 54.46 by holding off Mehdy Metella's second-place 54.64. Christophe Lebon rounded out the top three in 55.03.

Alexandra Putra touched out Cloe Credeville by the slimmest of margins in the women's 50 back, 29.32 to 29.33. Camille Gheorghiu wound up third overall in 29.82.

Day One Finals Results