Léon Marchand is the new star of French swimming. He was expected in the 400m medley at the Budapest Worlds and he responded by being crowned world champion and setting a new European record in 4’04”28, smashing his personal record set this Saturday morning in series (4’09”09)! This is the second best performance in the world behind Michael Phelps’ world record, which still stands: 4’03”84 at the Beijing Games in 2008.
At the end of a perfect race, he beat the Americans Carson Foster (4’06”56) and Chase Kalisz (4’07”47), reigning Olympic champion, relegated to more than two seconds. His strong point is the breaststroke, which allowed him to outrun Foster after getting off to a good start and resist well on the butterfly and especially the backstroke, which is supposed to be his weak point. It was not seen.
The eighth French individual world champion
“It’s amazing what happened to me! I’m surprised at my time. I knew how to manage my stress well and I swam the last hundred meters. I came to play a final, aim for a medal, I don’t know what to say.he said surprised himself with his performance.
The protege of Bob Bowman, former mentor of Michael Phelps, whom he joined ten months ago in Phoenix after being trained in Toulouse by Nicolas Castel, becomes, at 20, the eighth French world champion in individual after Roxana Maracineanu, Solène Figuès, Laure Manaudou for women and Jérémy Stravius, Camille Lacourt, Yannick Agnel and Florent Manaudou for men. He is the first Frenchman crowned world champion since Camille Lacourt in 2017 in the 50m backstroke.
Léon Marchand dedicated his victory to his father Xavier Marchand, vice-world champion in the 200m medley in 1998.