The French National Championships took place this weekend at INSEP in Paris with an Open competition run in parallel. Valentin Prades claimed the men’s gold and Elodie Clouvel successfully defended her status as the No.1 female French athlete whilst Great Britain’s Freyja Prentice triumphed in the women’s Open competition.
With the level extremely high in both draws, a scintillating competition ensued in both the men and women’s draws.
2013 men’s champion Valentin Belaud got his campaign off to a perfect start with victory in the fence with an inspired looking World No. 2 Prades just behind him in second place. In the swim, Gauthier Romani was quickest in the 200m freestyle with the only sub-2min time of the day as Simon Casse and Alexandre Henrard came second and third respectively.
It was neck and neck at the start of the combined after all the top athletes’ recorded maximum scores of 300 points in the ride. In the run/shoot, Prades was flying and did the business to win it in style. Belaud was not as quick at the range and in the end had to settle for silver with Casse taking bronze. Brice Loubet was the festest in the combined but after several mistakes in the equestrian show jumping, he could not make up enough ground to challenge for a podium finish.
In the women’s, Elodie Clouvel was once again crowned French champion with the quickest time in the pool, a perfect ride and an impressive fourth overall in the combined putting her on her way.
Overall Clouvel took bronze in the open competition which was dominated by Freyja Prentice and London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray with the British pair taking gold and silver.