Latest World News

Swimming: four months before the Worlds, the French phenomenon Léon Marchand accumulates records


For Léon Marchand, the harvest arrived at the very beginning of spring. The French swimming phenomenon, crowned world champion last summer in the 200 and 400 meter medley events, ended Saturday, March 25, the week of the American university championships (NCAA) as it had started. On a title and a university record. The 20-year-old Frenchman, who trains and studies at Arizona State University, posted the fastest time in history at this university level in the 200-yard breaststroke event (about 180 meters) in 1min 46s 91.

“Breaking records in all races is crazy. I am really very, very happy to be in this team [universitaire]assured the French swimmer At Parisianafter his run. We build something special and we progress every year. I am very excited for the future. » With five records – three in individual and two, unofficial, in relay – the Toulouse expatriate in Arizona to work under the leadership of coach Bob Bowman, former mentor of Michael Phelps, walked on water in the Minneapolis (Minnesota) pool, where the college finals are held.

Read also: Léon Marchand improves his 200-yard medley record

The objective: to do the same in the large pool

Léon Marchand’s raid began on Thursday March 23 with a victory in the 200-yard medley event – ​​the Frenchman retaining his title acquired last year, but improving his time by almost a second (1 min 36 s 34, compared to 1 min 37 s 69 in 2022). The one who studies computers in parallel with his career in the pools then became the first swimmer to descend under three minutes thirty (3 min 28 s 82) in the 400 yards medley on Friday, before performing the most relay fastest in history in breaststroke (49 s 23), in the 4 × 100 yards medley. In just two appearances at the NCAA championships, the Frenchman has become the most successful swimmer at his university, with five individual titles.

Four months before the world swimming championships, which will take place this summer in Fukuoka (Japan), the reigning double world champion has sent a big message to the competition. Even though these records have taken place on American distances, and in the context of the university championships which ignite the country each spring – in basketball, for example, the period is nicknamed the “March madness”the “madness of March” – the Frenchman continues to show his progress.

“I think I can transcribe what I did in the long pool”assured the tricolor star At Parisian. Now having to readapt to a larger swimming pool, and find his bearings there, Léon Marchand knows what to do. “It will be difficult because there are fewer turns [pour se relancer], so I’m going to have to keep my power. We will have to build more around that. That’s my next goal. » Just over a year from the Paris Olympics, the young Toulousain from Arizona State embodies more than ever the new blue wave eager to break into “his” Games.

Read also: In the wake of Léon Marchand, triple medalist at the swimming world championships, a new blue wave

The World with AFP