The tricolor delegation continues with its collection of medals in sports swimming at the European Championships in Rome (August 11-17). At the end of the third day of competitions, Les Bleues and Les Bleus have already reached the podium five times.
On Saturday, August 13, they added a first gold and a silver medal to the two silver and bronze medals achieved on Thursday and Friday.
Gold for Yohann Ndoye-Brouard
Yohann Ndoye-Brouard has come a long way. On Friday, August 12, it was only in the pool that he had to start qualifying for the final of the 200m backstroke. A punishment ? No. The Frenchman had broken his toe clip in the starting block of the semi-final and had stopped after only a few meters of running. He had obtained the right to start again, later and alone.
On Saturday, the incident was forgotten. The 21-year-old swimmer, who despite his setbacks had achieved the second half (1 min 56 s 39) of the semifinals, climbed to the first step of the podium. He breaking the French record for passing (1 min 55 s 62). He beat Hungary’s Benedek Kovacs and England’s Luke Greenbank.
Yohann Ndoye-Brouard has yet to compete in the 50m and 100m backstroke. In this last distance, he can also aspire to a medal. At the World Championships in June in Budapest, he finished fourth in the final of the 100m backstroke, setting a new personal best (52.50s), but finished only 6 tenths off the podium, in a race at the end of which the Italian Thomas Ceccon had won gold by setting a new world record (51s60).
“Yohann knows the gap that separates him from Ceccon, but he also knows that he is not untouchablesays Michel Chrétien, his coach. In a final everything is allowed and the one-day race will mean that, perhaps, I can beat him. »
Money for Marie Wattel
The 100m butterfly is his favorite stroke –and distance–. But, on the program of the European Championships, there was first a 50m butterfly, on Saturday, August 13. And although Marie Wattel assured that she had committed herself to this career above all because she wanted “go for the best time” that she had realized three years ago “ in the final of the world championships (5me place, French record at stake), the French swimmer did not shy away from a medal.
Especially since the woman from Lille won a silver medal, behind Sarah Sjöström (25.33 vs. 24.96). In the semifinals on Saturday she had already achieved the second fastest time, behind the Swede.
At 25 years old, Marie Wattel thus confirms that she has come out of the water after suffering, according to her own confession, “a big slap” at the Tokyo Olympics, in the summer of 2021, with a 6me place alone in the 100m butterfly final.
To rebuild himself, he then chose to leave England, where he had lived for five years, to return to France, to Marseilles. In June, the first results came from her: she became runner-up in the world in the 100m butterfly in Budapest.
It is also in this stroke and in this distance that his new coach, Julien Jacquier, thinks “fully capable of being European champion, given the progress made this year.” By 2021, he had won European gold in the 100m butterfly (and silver in the 100m freestyle).
To put all the odds on her side, Marie Wattel chose to line up for just the two butterfly events in Rome. Her second meeting is set for Sunday, August 14.
Romanian David Popovici world record
He is only 17 years old, but already flies over the basins. The Romanian David Popovici was proclaimed European champion in the 100 m freestyle, beating, with a time of 46 s 86, the world record established by the Brazilian César Cielo in 2009 (46 s 91).
This ultra-fast final saw Maxime Grousset fall to the foot of the podium. The Frenchman, who was leading in the 50m, finished 4thme square. Like during the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021.
this 4me place then had been considered promising by the specialists, because the French had been registered as a result of three “monsters” who are the American Caeleb Dressel, the Australian Kyle Chalmers and the Russian Kliment Kolesnikov.
Since then, the man who started swimming breaststroke at the age of 5 in Nouméa has confirmed that he has become a benchmark in sprinting. In Budapest, in June, he had come close to the world title in the 100m freestyle, finishing a breath away from David Popovici (47.64 vs. 47.58), before adding a bronze medal to this silver medal in the 50m free. .
In Rome, he who acts as “captain” of the French team at the European Championships, in the absence of Florent Manaudou, Léon Marchand and Mélanie Henique, won silver in the 50m butterfly on Friday 12 August.
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