He is only 20 years old, but he is already in the big leagues. Léon Marchand won his second world title in the 200 meter medley on Wednesday June 22. A few days earlier, on the 400 meter version, he offered his first coronation. He also finished silver in the 200-metre butterfly. In short, for his first world championships, the success is total.
If certain ingredients, such as his serenity or his talent, emerge from the young man, the asset in his bag is also on the side of his trainer, Bob Bowman. The one who forged the monster Michael Phelps is now the delight of the French swimmer.
The prowess of the Toulousain with a youthful face is enough to widen the eyes. It is even historic: with his performances in the Duna Arena in Budapest, Léon Marchand became the first male Frenchman to win three individual medals at the Worlds. “He’s a genius !” Camille Lacourt, five-time world and European champion, now a consultant for France Télévisions, does not mince his words when it comes to evoking Léon Marchand.
As for the swimmers, such a performance was achieved twice. The inevitable Laure Manaudou had, during the world championships in Melbourne (Australia), in 2007, tamed the basins with four individual medals including two titles (in 200 meters and 400 meters freestyle) and two in silver (in 800 meters swimming free and 100 meters backstroke). In 1991, in Perth (Australia), Catherine Plewinski had mounted the box three times without winning a title (two in silver in the 50 meters and 100 meters freestyle and the bronze in the 100 meters butterfly).
“Twenty years and already two gold medals in the same world championships in the 200 and 400 meter medley, it’s quite fabulous”analyzes Camille Lacourt, still amazed by the performance of the young Léon Marchand after having had the “pure pleasure to be able to comment on this achievement.”
If the young man has already reached this level at his age, how far can he still go? “We can’t wait to continue to see the progress of Léon Marchand because, when you train with Bowman, you can’t stop when you have the potential he has”answers Camille Lacourt.
He obviously has Paris 2024 in his sights. According to Camille Lacourt, “vsa can also go as far as Los Angeles [en 2028] and a few more years behind”.
Léon Marchand has in his favor a “maturity”sketches Camille Lacourt. “He really stayed focused after his 400m medley and 200m butterflyhe adds. He really has everything to mark world swimming.”
Best university swimmer in the United States, after breaking a record for Caeleb Dressel, now the French record holder in the three disciplines where he shone in Budapest, Léon Marchand already has a clear path to the highest peaks. Camille Lacourt savors, as well as the French, this breath of fresh air in the France team. “We are lucky to have a swimmer like that.” And it’s only just started.