19-Year-Old ASU Commit Leon Marchand Sets French 400 IM Record at 4:09.65

2021 FRENCH ELITE SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Day 1 Finals Recap

19-year-old Leon Marchand became the first French Olympic qualifier on the first day of the 2021 French Elite Swimming Championships in the 400 IM, resetting his own national record by 5.32s.

The ASU commit, who turned 19 years old last month, first broke the French national record at the March 2021 FFN Golden Tour in Marseilles, where he swam a humble 4:14.97. Both of Marchand’s times in 2021 where under the 4:15.84 FINA A cut, which institutes an automatic Olympic qualification.

Comparing Marchand’s splits from March to today, he made improvements in his 100 fly (-1.4s), 100 breast (-2.72), and 100 free (-1.43s) splits along with slighting gaining 0.23s on his 100 back split. Marchand’s swim in Chartres also moved him from No. 40 to No. 4 all-time in European history.

Marchand is the son of Xavier Marchand, 1996/2000 Olympian and 1998 World runner-up, and 1992 Olympian Céline Bonnet.

2021 French Elite 2021 FFN Golden Tour
26.28 27.28
30.46 (56.74) 30.86 (58.14)
33.19 33.90
32.97 (1:06.16) 32.03 (1:05.93)
34.32 35.79
34.62 (1:08.94) 35.87 (1:11.66)
29.53 30.34
28.28 (57.81) 28.90 (59.24)
4:09.65 4:14.97

All-Time European Performers — Men’s 400 IM LCM

  1. Laszlo Cseh (HUN), 4:06.16 – 2008
  2. David Verraszto (HUN), 4:07.47 – 2017
  3. Max Litchfield (GBR), 4:09.62 – 2017
  4. Leon Marchand (FRA), 4:09.65 – 2021**
  5. Luca Martin (ITA), 4:09.88 – 2007

Reported by Ben Dornan.

MEN’S 400 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY – FINALS

  • French Record: 4:14.97 – Léon Marchand (2021)
  • Olympic Qualifying Standards: 4:21.46 in prelims and 4:15.84 in A-final

After missing the event at the 2021 European Championships due to a sprained finger, Leon Marchand made his comeback here count and swim a 4:09.65 to annihilate his own French record in the event of 4:14.97. That’s a major improvement for Marchand who only set that record a few months ago in March.

The time is well under the 4:15.84 he needed to qualify for the Olympics, making Marchand the first official qualifier for the French Olympic team at this meet.

Marchand was, however, the only man to get under the Olympic qualifying standard as Emilien Mattenet swam a 4:17.50 for the silver medal while Jaouad Syoud hit a 4:19.02 for bronze.

That swim for Mattenet was a bit off his PB of 4:16.45 from March 2021 while Syoud recorded his 2nd best time of the day, hitting a 4:20.58 in the morning which was quicker than his March 2021 PB of 4:22.48.

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tomato
1 month ago

Good lord what a back half.

ACC
Reply to  tomato
1 month ago

Phelps’ world record he was 1:56.49/2:07.35. So Marchand was 0.6 faster on the back half, but a full 6.4 slower on the front half. Kind of wild.

Mr Piano
1 month ago

Interesting to see what Bowman will do with him. Although he may get a lot of flack, he knows how to coach 400 IMers.

Rafael
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

and Crush french swimmers..

Mr Piano
Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago

Listening to what Yannick has said, I really don’t think it was Bob’s fault. Yannick said he pushed himself too hard by going 100 percent every day, and his technique started to falter. He burned out, and Agnel continued to get slower as he left Bowman. He still speaks fondly of his time at NBAC

But this is the 400 IM. Bowman coached Phelps to a 4:03 in the 400 IM, and he coached Chase to a 4:06.

ooo
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Yannick said he played video games until the wee morning hours. Training and this was too much to bear. Agreed, he was all praise for Bowman. ( From a long you tube interview)

Joel Lin
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Guy from Paris speaks fondly of spending time in Baltimore. That’s right up there with the many random things I didn’t think would happen today.

DCSwim
Reply to  Joel Lin
1 month ago

Post-London NBAC and SwimMAC felt like the progenitors to ISL. So many stars under those banners at once

Eric the eel > Phelps
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Yannick admitted it later that one of the main reasons of his poor performance was the tragic death of his close friend : Camille Muffat. He struggled to move on

VAKer29
Reply to  Eric the eel > Phelps
1 month ago

Yannick was already swimming slower at the 2013 worlds than in London. In the winter of 2015, the prospects of a podium in Rio were no longer very good and the death of Camille Muffat certainly did not help.

Mr Piano
Reply to  VAKer29
1 month ago

He took several months off before worlds. It was a very last minute thing, and he was very surprised at the result

Guerra
Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago

Bowman will be long gone very soon after the Olympics. He only wants to coach one or two athletes because he’s a “personal trainer” not a swimming coach.

Joe
Reply to  Guerra
1 month ago

it works

Cate
Reply to  Guerra
1 month ago

And you know this how, exactly?

Cate
Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago

Perhaps listening to what Yannick had to say would be a good idea. BTW he’s only one French swimmer, not “swimmers”

BadShoulder
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Flickinger’s results within the past year speak for themselves

super classy swim
1 month ago

sheeshhhhh

WhoGoesHere
1 month ago

Might be a bit aggressive, but two seconds better in backstroke could be a podium finish in Tokyo.

1001 Pools
1 month ago

Great genes and an even better swim, making the Tokyo 400 IM final more interesting!

VAKer29
1 month ago

I would never have imagined that the 400m medley would allow French swimming to exist at the international level. Remember the european title of Fantine Lesaffre in this event 3 years ago! It’s a pleasure !

Taa
1 month ago

Time to upgrade his school choice.

twitter person
Reply to  Taa
1 month ago

Great point – who in their right mind would want to train under the guy who coached the greatest 400 IMer of all-time?

Taa
Reply to  twitter person
1 month ago

Foreign students don’t know any better. Go to Stanford if you can. He can have Minakov’s scholarship money

Frank A Wilson
1 month ago

I note Leon Marchand’s time of 4:09.65 is only a fraction of a second slower than Chase Kalisz’s wining time of 4:09.09 in Wave II for the same event, and ahead of the second place Wave II time. I wonder what Leon can do when pushed? And he is only 19! It is going to be fun watching him in the ASU, PAC 12 and NCAA meets.

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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