Lara Grangeon Takes 400 IM National Record To Close French Nationals

Lara Grangeon
Photo Courtesy: French Swimming Federation

Florent Manaudou closed out the French long course nationals with the two fastest global performances in the 50 freestyle this year, and Lara Grangeon set a national mark in the 400 IM to put herself among the world’s best in the event.

Manaudou is the reigning Olympic champion in the 50 freestyle, but was unable to back up that win with a gold at the 2013 world championships, finishing fifth. Twice today in the splash-and-dash, he showed that he’s on track to at least get himself into the world championship final this summer in Kazan.

In prelims, Manaudou uncorked a 21.57, which at the time was the fastest time in the world ahead of the 21.91 by Brazil’s Bruno Fratus. A few hours later in the final, Manaudou won with 21.70, still faster than anyone else has swum in 2015. Clement Mignon, who is set to swim on the 400 free relay in Russia, added the 50 free to his program with a 22.08 for sixth in the world. Fabien Gilot placed third with a 22.13, also under the FINA “A” standard but in the unenviable place of being shut out in the event for worlds.

“I am not at all satisfied with the time,” Manaudou said after the swim. “I still think that I am on the right track. I am going to get back to work to achieve my goal of a world championship title.”

Lara Grangeon put herself in position to swim in the world championship final of the 400 IM, posting a 4:37.55 that breaks the national record of 4:38.23 shared by Joanne Andraca and Camille Muffat since 2008. Grangeon’s time would have placed in the top eight at the 2013 world championships, and a repeat of that time could catapult the 23-year-old into a new stratosphere of individual medley swimmers. Grangeon had some help in her record-setting swim … at least for the first 200 meters. Hungary’s Evelyn Verraszto led through the backstroke, but Grangeon unleashed a 1:19.43 on breaststroke to take a big lead and win by four seconds over Verraszto’s 4:41.77. Grangeon’s time sits seventh in the world so far, with many of the heavy hitters already ranked ahead of her.

Anna Santamans made a run at Malia Metella’s national record of 24.58 in the 50 free, falling just a bit short with a 24.82 that now sits eighth in the world. After making a breakthrough to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, the 21-year-old Santamans is looking to get a second swim at her first world championships.

Charlotte Bonnet made it a sweep of the sprint breaststrokes with a win in the 50 breast, and continues to make a case to become the new female face of French swimming. Her 31.66 just beat out Fanny Deberghes’ 31.73, giving both the opportunity to swim the event at worlds. Bonnet added the 50 breast to a busy world championship program that includes the 100 free, 200 free, 100 breast and 200 IM.

Another top swim in tonight’s session came in the men’s 100 butterfly, where Mehdy Metella scorched the field with a 51.74. At this point in the season, it’s the third-best time of the year, behind the 51.37 by Konrad Czerniak and the 51.64 by Jack Conger. Runner-up Jordan Coelho was more than a second behind with a 53.46.

Though not a sub-15 minute swim that will be needed to place in the top eight at the world championships, Damien Joly swept the distance events with a 15:05.81 in the 1500 free. That’s sixth in the world and a personal best for Joly, though still about 10 seconds from Sebastien Rouault’s national record. Twelve seconds back was Joris Bouchat with a 15:17.55.

2015 French Long Course Nationals, Day Six – Results

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