“Pass the steps. » Even if his specialty is the sprint, don’t count too much on Maxime Grousset to confuse speed and haste before the world swimming championships in the long course, which will take place in Budapest from Saturday June 18. This does not prevent him from aiming for a medal in the 100 meter freestyle, the queen race in swimming.
At 23, the French swimmer is beginning to get annoyed at having to stay at the foot of the podiums in major international events. “I’m disappointed, I wanted to be on the podium”had he dropped after his 5e place obtained in the 100-meter freestyle event at the Short Course Worlds in Abu Dhabi, in December 2021.
A few months earlier, in Tokyo, for his first participation in the Olympic Games, he had finished 4e over the distance (47″72), in the wake of three “monsters” that are the American Caeleb Dressel (gold in 47″02), the Australian Kyle Chalmers and the Russian Kliment Kolesnikov. Three days before, he had signed an impressive 47″52 at the start of the 4×100 m freestyle relay, becoming the fastest French swimmer in history in jammer (sheathing swim shorts).
Maxime Grousset left Japan with a chocolate medal, but above all a new status within a tricolor swimming race with no results (apart from the silver medal won by veteran Florent Manaudou).
“Maxime was a short, very short sprinter”
At the Worlds, the one who started breaststroke at the age of 5 in Nouméa, where he was born, will get on the starting blocks with a few references to show off. During the French championships, on April 7, he confirmed his national supremacy in the 100 meter freestyle and signed the best world performance of the year (48 sec 03). Not enough to satisfy him: “I didn’t like the weather. It didn’t do much to me.”he explains, shrugging his shoulders.
Despite everything, he again swam twice under 49 seconds in the space of a week, during the Mare Nostrum meetings, on May 21 in Monaco, and on May 29, in Canet-en-Roussillon. “Three weeks from the world championships, it’s okay”, he blurted out. While emphasizing that he still finds it difficult to hold the last 50 meters of the race, where he must be able to maintain his swimming pace, or even accelerate it.
“Maxime was a short, very short sprinter”, recalls Michel Chrétien, his trainer at Insep, the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance, located in Paris. The latter evokes a “outstanding motivation” about Maxime Grousset, who originally competed in the 50 meter freestyle and the 50 meter butterfly, disciplines he continues to practice.
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