Hugues Duboscq (CN LE HAVRE) set a national record of 2:09.72 in the semis of the 200m breaststroke at French Olympic trials in Dunkirk, his effort taking him up one place to 6th on the all-time rankings inside the 2:09.85 in which he collected bronze at the European Championships in March.
The sub 2:10 club:
Camille Muffat (Olympic Nice Natation), after securing a place on the 4x200m freestyle team (see below), set a national record of 2:11.15 in the 200m medley final to book the first berth for Beijing ahead of three women who also swam inside the target time: the second slot went to Cylia Vabre (LYON NATATION), on 2:13.19, with Sophie de Ronchi (ES MASSY NATATION) on 2:13.91 and Joanne Andraca (AC HYERES) on 2:14.60. Muffat's time, 0.01sec inside the effort that secured the European crown for Mireia Belmonte (ESP) in March, makes her 8th fastest ever.
Genghis Khan would have been proud of the Mongo(e)l fighting force (sorry, Aurore) in Dunkirk. In the absence of the world record holder Laure Manaudou (Mullhouse), 200 'fly specialist Aurore Mongel (MULHOUSE ON) claimed the 200m freestyle crown in 1:57.63 and within half an hour was back in to lead qualifiers in the 200m butterfly semis on 2:11.17.
In her wake in the 200m free final came Ophelie Cyriell Etienne (DAUPHINS TOULOUSE OEC), on 1:58.18, Camille Muffat (OLYMPIC NICE NATATION) 1:58.36, former world champion Alena Popchanka (Edinburgh/LAGARDERE PARIS RACING) on 1:58.46, Coralie Balmy (DAUPHINS TOULOUSE OEC), 1:58.65, and Céline Couderc (CN CEVENNES ALES), on 1:58.97. A useful relay without Manaudou but one that would require her potential for a 1:54 split to fight for gold.
Christophe Lebon (CN ANTIBES) was in fine form, booking his place on the French squad for Beijing with a 1:56.54 victory that left him a pool ahead of the pack that trailed beyond the 2-minute mark.
The semi-finals of the 100m freestyle witnessed a French championship record by world record holder Alain Bernard (CN ANTIBES), on 48.04. The three men following will surely make France a medal stroke force in the 4x100m free in Beijing: Amaury Leveaux (MULHOUSE ON) 48.38 behind Bernard, same time for the winner of the other semi, Fabien Gilot (CN MARSEILLE), and a 48.52 for Frederick Bousquet (CN MARSEILLE).