Absent Leon Marchand Books Ticket To Worlds In 200 IM At French Championships


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  • Limoges Métropole, France
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Despite the fact that he wasn’t in the field, newly-minted NCAA champion Leon Marchand officially qualified for the 2022 World Championships on the fourth night of finals from the French Elite Championships in Limoges Métropole.

Update: Marchand actually qualified upon the conclusion of the 200 fly earlier in the meet, having clocked 1:55.68 in that event in Tokyo.

Despite the fact that he set a new French National Record in the event a week ago, Marchand came into this week in the nation’s second position for World Championship qualification in the men’s 200 IM, trailing Mewen Tomac.

Tomac swam a time of 1:59.73 in the event at the French Elite Championships in December, a meet that is prioritized higher for qualifying than the Tokyo Olympics, where Marchand went 1:58.30.

With Marchand absent, if one swimmer other than Tomac dipped below the qualifying time of 1:59.76 in the 200 IM final, Marchand would lose his spot in Budapest in the event.

That possibility turned into a likely reality after Enzo Tesic went 1:59.68 in the prelims, but Tesic ultimately missed the ‘A’ cut by .02 in the final, 1:59.78, to lock in Marchand’s spot. (It’s also possible one of the two, likely Tomac, would’ve relinquished their spot in the event for Marchand, with Tomac also having qualified in the 100 and 200 back.)

The 19-year-old Marchand recently wrapped up his freshman season in the NCAA, winning a pair of national titles for the Arizona State Sun Devils in the 200 IM and 200 breaststroke (short course yards) a few weeks ago. He then competed at the Pro Swim Series meet in San Antonio, Texas, last weekend instead of heading to France to compete at this meet, banking his Olympic performances would be enough to qualify him.

He’ll likely lock up a spot in the 400 IM upon the conclusion of the meet, with that event taking place on Sunday.

Tomac opted to race the 200 back over the 200 IM on Friday, and it paid off as he posted the top time in the world this year at 1:56.82. The 20-year-old is now qualified for three events at Worlds, having also secured a spot in the 100 back earlier and now the 200 IM as well.

The only swimmer other than Marchand to add their name to the Worlds roster on Day 4 was Antoine Viquerat, who missed the qualifying time in the men’s 200 breast but qualifies by virtue of his 2:09.54 swim in Tokyo.

We also saw Marie Wattel and Charlotte Bonnet add the 100 free to their Worlds schedule, while Yohann Ndoye Brouard joined Tomac in qualifying for the 200 back.

Though not official, Lucile Tessariol is a candidate to be added after the meet in the 400 free relay, having placed fourth in the 100 free behind Wattel, Bonnet and Mary-Ambre Moluh. Moluh already qualified for the team individually in the 50 and 100 back.

For a full recap of Day 4 finals, click here.


Women Event(s) Men Event(s)
Cyrielle Duhamel 200 IM Maxime Grousset 50 fly, 100 free
Marie Wattel 100 free, 100 fly Florent Manaudou 50 fly
Emma Terebo 100 back Yohann Ndoye Brouard 100/200 back
Mary-Ambre Moluh 50/100 back Mewen Tomac 100/200 back, 200 IM
Analia Pigree 50 back Hadrien Salvan 100/200 free
Charlotte Bonnet 100/200 free Jordan Pothain 200 free
Damien Joly 800 free
Leon Marchand 200 IM, 200 fly
Antoine Viquerat 200 breast

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Lucas Knapp
2 months ago

Could Marchand qualify in the 200 Breast?

2 months ago

James, he qualified in the 200 breast as well.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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