It represents the next generation of French men’s sprint. After Alain Bernard, Florent Manaudou or even Frédéric Bousquet, Maxime Grousset is, at 23 years old, one of the best chances for a French medal in the queen distance, the 100 meter freestyle, at the European Championships in Rome, which began on Thursday, August 11. .
As he plays the series over his favorite distance on Friday, his coach, Michel Chrétien, as well as the manager ofe data from the physiological and analytical follow-up of the athletes’ career within of the French Swimming Federation, Robin Pla, analyzed for franceinfo: sport the technical characteristics of the swimmer from New Caledonia.
The resident of the Insep (National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance) It is not the biggest, nor the most powerful, but it has a hybrid profile at this distance. “He’s someone who has very little body fat, he’s 5%, so it’s just muscle. As it is not so big it is light for a sprinter, its power to weight ratio is very good“, explains Robin Pla. Use this advantage from the start of a race.”By thrust, it is clearly the best of Insep. We have been working on it for two years.“, adds the technical advisor. With the support of video analysis, they also work once a week on the entrance curve to the water to limit the loss of speed.
In the first 15 meters authorized to throw, Maxime Grousset has learned not to do like the others. “meHe doesn’t climb 15 meters unlike a [Florent] Manaudou, because he wants to benefit from maximum speed at the end of the cast and will be less good than Florent in the last undulations. It is better for him to go out to 12 meters to maximize his speed. If he misses one or two waves, he will lose muzzle velocity.Pla explains.
Five or even six waves before surfacing is the correct compromise chosen after analysis. “Maxime is a 100m swimmer for physiological reasons. To be the best in the world in the 50m, he would have to win his throw. Above her, he is below a [Caeleb] Dressel even if it’s close.“
Particularly consistent from race to race, the Frenchman remains in control during the first part of his effort. “That differentiates him from Alain Bernard and Florent Manaudou who threw the sauce from the first 50 and then tried to hang on. It happened with the monkeys, less with the swimsuits. Maxime slows down before letting go.Pla explains.It should be around 52/53 cycles per minute and manage to maintain this intensity throughout the race at the same level. Where a Manaudou will be at 60 cycles in the first 50 meters before falling“, adds the analyst.
In the curve, again, it stands out, with “it flows shorter than the others, about 8 meters, while Dressel will be 10 meters”. As for the beginning, “don’t push more because otherwise you would lose speed”. By Robin Pla, Grousset “It will start with similar speeds to the others and that is why it is better in the long run. In the first cast he has an advantage, it is his thrust force that will allow him to compensate. Which is less the case on the way back, but then it’s for the best“.
All the qualities of the French are expressed in this return phrase. First thanks to its physical box. “It eats an average of 50 terminals a week while Manaudou is 15/20 kilometers away, I think. Ben Proud of Great Britain [champion du monde 2022 sur 50 m libre]is even lesssays Robin Pla.
“He has explosiveness and power, less than a Manaudou and a Bernard, but he has great resistance, superior to them. In the second 50 meters, he is one of the best in the world. Only, perhaps, the Australian Kyle Chalmers [champion olympique du 100 mètres nage libre en 2016, en argent à Tokyo] it does too.”
It is also in this part of the race, at the end of the casting, that the Frenchman can express his tactical sense, with “strategies based on adversity and career,” says Michel Chrétien, his coach. “The one-day race is not the beautiful mechanic that we are going to implement. You have to deal with stress.” However, the coach assures him : “What drives Maxime is competition. He is not afraid in the final”. Better, your swimmer “he likes to play”
“He perfectly dominates the game of liar’s poker. During the tie break for the 50m final at the last Worlds against Bruno Fratus, we knew that the Brazilian did not have a very fast start but he did have enormous acceleration between 25 and 35 meters. I asked Max to speed up that stretch to surprise him. He did it and he won.”Michel Chrétien, coach of Maxime Grousset
on franceinfo: sport
Facing 17-year-old prodigy David Popovici in Budapest, the 100m final is the perfect example of this talent. “Tactically, the Romanian is a metronome. When in calm water, it goes very fast. But Maxime, with his progress, is able to accelerate in the second 50 meters and constantly relaunch. There is no collapse in swimming from him. At the chronometric level, he is at 48.5 when a Popovici will be at 48.1. But we knew that if he attacked him, at about 75 meters, he would put a grain of sand in the wheels. And a metronome when you shake it, it plays“, develops Cristiano.
Assaulted by the French, the Bucharest boat was completely frustrated, marking a time far from its standards, he who aspired to beat a new world record in the distance. He finished with a time of 47.58, six hundredths ahead of Grousset, not far from hitting the perfect shot.
A less controlled end run may have cost him the gold. “In the Budapest final he did less than in the middle on the sidelinesJudge Robin Pla. It is a concentration, an ability not to breathe in the last strokes.”
Silver medalist in the 100 meters and seasoned in the 50 meters at the World Championships, Maxime Grousset knew how to put his versatility into practice in his swimming. “He’s not much better than everyone else at any one thing, but he’s good everywhere”, summarizes Robin Pla. He intends to show it once more, in Rome.
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