Joly set for Worlds after retaining 1500m French Nationals title

Joly secured his first major medal at Roma 2022 – Simone Castrovillari / LEN

European bronze Damien Joly secured himself a nomination for the Fina Short Course (25m) World Championships in Melbourne next month with victory in the 1500m on the final day of the French Nationals in Chartres.

Joly, who finished third in the 1500m at Roma 2022, claimed victory in his homeland in 14 minutes 33.38 seconds, ahead of European open water medallists Logan Fontaine and Marc-Antoine Olivier.

“It was hard and I lost my bearings a little in the last 50m, which happens sometimes in the 1500m, but this keeps my title as champion of France and the time of 14’33 is very honest for this time of the season,” he said after the race.

Charlotte Bonnet won four titles at the French nationals – Stephane Kempinaire / KMSP

Subject to official confirmation, joining him in Australia next month will be Charlotte Bonnet who added to her 200m individual medley, 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke titles earlier in the meet with success in the 400m freestyle final.

Maxime Grousset rounded off an impressive meet, which has also included victories in 50m and 200m freestyle, as well as the 100m individual medley, by taking the 100m freestyle title in 45.61 seconds.

Other winners on the final day of competition included Carl Aitkaci (50m breaststroke), Emilien Mattennet (200m IM) and Mewen Tomac (50m backstroke).

Pauline Mahieu (FRA) competes in 20 m Backstroke – Stephane Kempinaire / KMSP

Pauline Mahieu took gold in the women’s 200m backstroke in 2:04.26, ahead of Emma Terebo (2:06.28) and Aëla January (2:08.37).

“It was a very short start to the season with the French Championships so early, so it hurts,” she joked. “I gave it my all though and it’s great.”

Marie Wattel did not quite do enough to secure a nomination for Melbourne 2022, but completed her programme with victory in the 100m butterfly in 57.11 secs.