European champion Charlotte Bonnet was the major winner on the opening night of the French Swimming National Short Course Championships with victories in both the 50m breaststroke and 200m individual medley finals in Chartres.
The event represents the final opportunity for swimmers to put themselves into consideration for the Fina World Short Course Championships in Melbourne, Australia, in December.
Bonnet opened her campaign with a clear victory in 30.06 seconds, ahead of Adele Blanchetiere (31.36) and Lucie Vasquez (31.53).
The 27-year-old, who won bronze at London 2012 as part of the 4x200m French relay team, then returned to the pool later in the session to secure a second success, this time in the 200m IM – in two minutes 07.69 secs.
“I did a good first part of the race and that gives me confidence,” Bonnet said of her 200m IM performance.
“I’m a little disappointed (with the 50m), but a lot of what I’m working on is for the 100m and 200m events, so overall I am very satisfied.”
European backstroke champions Analia Pigree (50m) and Yohann Ndoye Brouard (200m) enjoyed breakthrough performances at Roma 2022, but would have to settle for second in their respective events at this latest short course championships.
Pigree, who finished in 26.36 seconds, was edged out by 17-year-old rising star Mary-Ambre Moluh’s time which was 0.03 secs faster.
I’m really happy with my performance because I did not necessarily expect to win this given who I had next to me in Analia (Pigree) as she is a major competitor,” she said.
“I’m happy with the time and the pre (World Championship) race qualifier.”
Mewen Tomac won the men’s 200m backstroke in 1:50.14, with Ndoye Brouard second in 1:51.42.
Olympians Marie Wattel (100m freestyle) and Maxime Grousset (100m individual medley) were also winners on the opening day of competition.
“I’m not in peak shape,” admitted Grousset, who won World Championship 100m (long course) silver in June. “I don’t feel super good, but I managed to get out there and give everything to do my best time (51.49 secs).”
There were also victories for Logan Fontaine (400m freestyle), Stanislas Huille (100m butterfly) and Madelon Catteau (1500m) freestyle.