One More Upset Before France Names 29
Mar 25, 2012 - Craig Lord
On the last day of Olympic trials in Dunkirk, as France selected 29 swimmers, 17 men and 12 women, for the London 2012 Games, European champion Sebastien Rouault, of Mulhouse, became the latest big name in French swimming to miss the cut.
His 15:10.09 effort in the 1500m freestyle was inside the target required but only good enough for bronze, the Olympic tickets going to Anthony Pannier, of Sarcelles, on 15:01.43, and Damien Joly, Antibes, on 15:02.43.
The race delivered one of the upsets of the championships: Rouault is French record holder since he won the European crown in 14:55.17 in Budapest in 2010. Pannier's best last year: 15:26.17. Joly's best last year: 15:17.32.
In the only other final of the session, Anna Santamans, 18 and racing for Olympic Nice, joined the French team for London 2012 with a 25.16sec victory in the 50m freestyle. There were no other qualifiers.
The France team for London 2012:
Yannich Agnel, Camille Muffat and Camille Lacourt lead French hopes at London 2012, while Alain Bernard will not defend the 100m freestyle crown after finishing 5th in the solo final but will race the 4x100m freestyle relay. Nine of the 17 men are selected only for relays, while the same applies to half of the 12 women.
The biggest names to miss the cut were Fred Bousquet, fastest ever in textile over 50m freestyle in 2010 but unable to crack 22sec in 2012, Rouault, a European champion inside the cut on the clock but beaten to the tickets by two improvers, and world champion Jeremy Stravius, who shared the 100m backstroke title with Lacourt last year but finished third at trials behind Lacourt and Benjamin Stasiulis, who will race both backstroke events and is nominated for the medley relay too.
No 400m for Agnel, who will focus on the 100m and 200m as well as relays, while Laure Manaudou made a successful comeback with world-class times in the 100m and 200m backstroke (but no freestyle this time round).