Ndoye Brouard Sets French 200 Back Record Of 1:56.10; New 400IM Mark For Marchand

Yohann Ndoye
Yohann Ndoye Brouard: KMSP/ Stéphane Kempinaire

It was a night for the promise of youth as Yohann Ndoye Brouard set a new French 200 back record of 1:56.10 from lane one and fellow teenager Leon Marchand emphatically lowered his own 400IM mark to 4:14.97 on day two of the FFN Golden Tour in Marseille.

Marie Wattel went 53.32 in the 100 free with the first five women home all clocking 53s and there were notable performances from Danys Rapsys, Damien Joly and Arno Kamminga.

There was also a Swiss record for Noe Ponti who clocked 23.39 in the 50 fly to add to his 100 gold.

Link to results

Young Guns Command The Spotlight

It has been a memorable meet so far for Ndoye Brouard who stopped the clock at 57.92 over 100m on Friday night to book his spot on the French team for Tokyo 2020.

He joined an exclusive club of just three Frenchmen who had gone inside 53secs, joining Camille Lacourt – who holds the European record of 53.11 – and Jeremy Stravius, the pair sharing the world title in Shanghai in 2011.


Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

The 20-year-old was back in the pool on Saturday morning, the cobwebs taking some blowing off as he finished seventh in the 200 prelims in 2:02.13 with Antoine Herlem and Geoffroy Mathieu booking the centre lanes in 1:58.10 and 1:58.67.

Come the final and it was a completely different matter.

Ndoye Brouard was out in 26.87 – 0.69 ahead of his nearest challenger – and subsequent splits of 29.64/30.25/29.34 brought him home in 1:56.10, 0.29secs inside the French record  of 1:56.39 that Benjamin Stasiulis set on 23 March 2012 at the Olympic trials.

It was a time that would have been good enough for bronze at the 2018 Europeans and fourth at the 2019 worlds.

Mathieu was second in 1:57.60 with Apostolos Christou replicating his third place in the 100 in 1:58.58.

Mewen Tomac – second behind Ndoye Brouard on Friday as both made the consideration time for Tokyo – was fourth in 1:58.79.

Ndoye Brouard – coached by Michel Chretien – told the French Swimming Federation:

“I had no strategy. I was dead after my 100m yesterday. I rested a little, this morning I did not work and I just made it to the final.

“That was the goal, I wanted to enter this final with the seventh or eighth fastest time because in Saint-Raphaël I raced a bit for everyone, starting quickly.

“This time I was in lane one and no-one was watching me. At the end I saw that I was in front, it made me feel good and I finished very strong.”

Chretien was coach to Stasiulis when he set the previous record and Ndoye Brouard was surprised to have attained Tokyo qualification in both the 100 and 200 back.

“He (Chretien) thinks I have a 200m swim more than a 100m swim so I had to be stronger over that distance.

“Personally I felt stronger in the 100m, in the end it was just happiness.”

Leon Marchand

Leon Marchand: Photo Courtesy: KMSP / Stéphane Kempinaire

Marchand set a new PB in the 200IM on Friday to book his Tokyo spot and then continued his fine form in the longer medley.

The 18-year-old had held the French record since August 2019 when he stopped the clock at 4:16.37 en-route to bronze at the World Junior Championships in Budapest.

Marchand was third-fastest into the final in 4:22.59 and qualification attained, he rested and recovered and returned to the Marseille pool in the early evening.

Fourth at the first turn, that was the only time Marchand was not out in front at the head of the field.

Splits: 58.14/1:05.93/1:11.66/59.24

Marchand though wasn’t getting carried away, saying:

“Yes, it’s nice! It’s not what I had in mind, but I set my best time after I had stagnated at 4’16 for almost two years.”

He added: “Tonight I still made a few small mistakes. By correcting them, the stopwatch should go down further.”

Wattel Leads Home Speedy 100 Free; Rapsys Wins 200 Tussle

Marie Wattel (photo: Mike Lewis)

Marie Wattel; Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS / ISL

Wattel led from start to finish to win a 100 free race in which the first five women came home in 53s.

The Frenchwoman stormed the first 50 in 25.25 with Charlotte Bonnet and Rio 2016 50 free champion Pernille Blume locked on 25.75 in second.

Femke Heemskerk turned in fourth but a second-50 blast of 27.52 propelled the Netherlands swimmer past the rest of the field but falling 0.09secs short of challenging Wattel.

Wattel won in 53.32 with Heemskerk clocking 53.41 as Bonnet (53.70), Federica Pellegrini (53.84) and Blume (53.89) rounded out the speedy field.

Wattel said:

“I really had the worst possible race from a strategic point of view. I left very quickly, but that’s what I wanted because I wanted to take risks.

“If I am in the final of the Games, the best girls will leave like this. It really hurt me in the last 25 metres and in the last five metres I tell myself it’s not going to pass. But sometimes swimming with the heart pays off and it’s fun.”

The two-time European relay champion booked her ticket for the 100free in Tokyo having already qualified in the 100 fly, prompting emotion from Wattel.

“I remember that in Rio in 2016, I noticed that the best in the 100m butterfly also dominated the 100m freestyle.

“I told myself that I wanted to be among these girls and among the best sprinters in the world. It was a bet I took four and a half years ago now and it’s coming true so it’s cool.”

Rapsys prevailed in a tussle with Nils Liess in the 200 free.

The Lithuanian was out in 24.77 – 0.23 ahead of Liess – but the Swiss swimmer came back on the second 50 with a 26.54 blast to move 0.43 in front at the halfway stage.

Liess extended the lead to 0.70 at the final turn but back came Rapsys with a 27.05 last 50 to stop the clock at 1:46.98.

Liess was second in 1:47.40, 0.04 ahead of Roman Mityukov who just failed to make up the deficit in 1:47.40.

Rapsys will head to his second Olympics in search of his first international long-course title two years after he was disqualified after touching first at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju.

Kamminga Dominates 200br; Joly Good In 1500 Free


Arno Kamminga; Photo Courtesy: Foto Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia /Insidefoto

Arno Kamminga joined the 2:06 club when he went 2:06.85 in early December in an event that promises to be a thriller come Tokyo.

The three-time European short-course champion split 28.67/322.38/33.27/33.76, dominating throughout to win by more than three seconds in 2:08.08.

Christopher Rothbauer was second in 2:11.43 with Marco Koch third in 2:11.72.

Lisa Mamie of Switzerland won the women’s equivalent race in 2:25.88.

Damien Joly dominated the 1500 free to win in 14:55.94 – the fastest in the world in 2021 and inside the cut for Tokyo.

Marc-Antoine Olivier – 10km bronze medallist at Rio 2016 – was more than 11secs adrift in 15:07.06 for second.

Cyrielle Duhamel won the women’s 200IM in 2:13.52 with Lilou Resencourt taking the 200 fly in 2:11.88.

Kira Toussaint sped to the 50 back in 27.87 with clear water to her Netherlands team-mate Maaike de Waard (28.12).



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