After setting the fastest time in the series, the Frenchman won his first international senior medal on Saturday, setting a new European record in the process.
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Budapest brings him luck. In July 2019, Léon Marchand won the bronze medal in the 400 meter medley at the world junior championships in the Hungarian capital. Saturday June 18, it is the world gold and the European record (4’04″28) that the Toulousain offered himself, always on the same distance but among the seniors this time.
After achieving the best time in the series in the morning – and beating his own French record in 4’09″09 -, Bob Bowman’s pupil crushed the final in the evening. In contact after the butterfly passage, Léon Marchand held the distance in the backstroke – his weakest stroke – facing the American Carson Foster In the breaststroke, the Frenchman accelerated to take the clear lead before letting go of the horses and slamming a final ultra-fast crawl pass.
With a 400m medley completed in 4’04″28, the great hope of French swimming set a new European record, erasing Hungarian Laszlo Cseh from the shelves, and leaving his competitors more than two seconds behind. Very quickly , the French could have in his sights the world record of American legend Michael Phelps (4’03″84), which is only four tenths of his performance of the day.
After his sixth place at the Tokyo Olympics, at only 20 years old, Léon Marchand has perfectly met the expectations that have weighed on his shoulders since his brilliant performances in the American university championship earlier in the year. With this medal, Léon Marchand joins his father Xavier, who until Saturday was the only French medalist in the medley in the long pool – he had won silver in the 200m medley in 1998 in Perth (Australia).