The young Frenchman Léon Marchand became world champion in the 400 meter medley on Saturday June 18 in Budapest. At only 20 years old, he signed the second best performance in the world of all time, beating his French record by more than four seconds. Léon Marchand won after a perfect race of 4 min. 4 s and 28/100, a new European record and second best performance in the world behind Michael Phelps’ world record, which still stands at 4 min. s and 84/100 at the Beijing Games in 2008. A monstrous time.
On the first day of the Worlds, the Frenchman is ahead of the two Americans Carson Foster, 20 years old like him, and the “veteran” Chase Kalisz, 28 years old, Olympic champion at the Tokyo Olympics last summer. Léon Marchand, a new sensation in French swimming, had already achieved the best time in the semi-finals in 4 min, 9 s and 9/100, a new French record. He smashed that mark by almost five seconds and finished two seconds ahead of Foster (4 mins 6s and 56/100) and three over Kalisz (4 mins 7s and 47/100).
This is the first gold medal for Léon Marchand, who trains at the University of Arizona under Bob Bowman, Phelps’ ex-coach. His strong point is the breaststroke, which allowed him to outrun Foster after getting off to a good start and holding up well on the butterfly and especially the backstroke, which is believed to be his weak point. It was not seen.