Mehdy Metella Posts 50.87 To Book Tokyo 100 Fly Spot; Grousset & Wattel Add 50 Free

Mehdy Metella 100 fly
Mehdy Metella: Photo Courtesy: KMSP/S.KEMPINAIRE

Mehdy Metella ensured he will be Tokyo-bound in the 100 fly after he went 50.87 in the final event of the French Olympic Trials in Chartres.

Metella split 23.88/26.99 to come home just 0.02secs outside his French record of 50.85 he set in April 2019.

It was comfortably inside the qualification mark of 51.96 and followed his fine heat of 51.18 as he ensured he would swim in the individual in Tokyo, a day after finishing fourth in the 100 free to book a slot on the relay in which he won silver at Rio 2016.

Nicolas Vermorel (52.52) and Stanislas Huille (52.86) completed the top three.

Metella said:

“I’m happy with my time even if I wanted to take it down further. I am a high level athlete, I always want to do better! It’s like that with the Metellas. Even first at the Games, we will be working hard on the clock. We always want to go faster.”

Of his ambitions for the Games, he said:

“I’ll start by resting. We leave on July 10th for the final camp in Japan and the competition starts on July 23rd. 

“I would have liked to leave later so as not to lose too much juice, but the context is special. Afterwards, for the tests, we will see.”

The 28-year-old underwent shoulder surgery in January 2020 after which he faced months of rehab.

He said:

“Yes, it is true, even if it has been a long time! For several months in training, I swam on one arm. It took me a long time to find all my means. 

“But clearly, this is the worst year of my career. However, as Florent (Manaudou) told me, I still manage to get by.”

Maxime Groussetwho went 47.89 over 100 free – added the 50 free to his programme.

He went 21.94 in the prelims, before returning to go 21.74 to bring to an end what has been a week of consistently fine performances.

Florent Manaudou, who had already qualified in the one-length dash, was second in 21.84 with Clement Mignon going 22.38.

Marie Wattel will also compete in the 50 and 100 free after going 24.53, one place and 0.03 ahead of Melanie Henique (24.57) who had already booked her slot in the event.

Charlotte Bonnet, who has qualified in the 100 and 200 free (24.78) and Beryl Gastaldello (24.97) were next home, the latter having failed to make the team in individual events although third in the 100 free should see her on to the 4×1.

Maxime Grousset France

Maxime Grousset: Photo Courtesy: KMSP / Stéphane Kempinaire

Leon Marchand added the 200IM title to the long medley he won in French-record time on the opening day.

The 19-year-old won in  1:58.03 – well inside the cut – and is set for a busy schedule in Tokyo with the two IMs and 200 fly in which he became the second-fastest Frenchman behind only Franck Esposito after going 1:55.40.

World silver medallist Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland was second in 1:59.23 with Mewen Tomac – Tokyo-bound in the backstroke events – just 0.06 outside the cut of 1:59.69 in 1:59.75.

Enzo Tesic was the third Frenchman home in 2:00.51.

Fantine Lesaffre – set for the Games in the 200IM – won the 200 back in 2:12.84, outside the cut.

Fanny Borer (2:13.10) and Cyrielle Duhamel (2:13.60) completed the top three.

Joris Bouchaut (15:08.10) and Tommy-Lee Camblong (15:19.00) rounded out the top three.Damien Joly won the 1500 free in 14:59.96 but his time was way outside the 14:57.23 he needed to book his spot.


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