Leon Marchand after 4:02.31 500 Free: “Tonight I had no limits”

2024 MEN’S NCAA SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

After his mind-boggling 4:02.31 500 Free, Leon Marchand gave some insight into his thinking during his race. Marchand didn’t have a goal or a set time in mind, he just wanted to go out fast and see what he could go.

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MrBr
2 months ago

I wish we could see Leon doing some off events, like this: 200 fly, 200 back, 100 breast and opening a Medley relay in the 100 back

oxyswim
2 months ago

Even time I hear Leon give an interview, it seems like he’s got incredible perspective for a 21 year old. Really good head on his shoulders.

Walleywoo
2 months ago

Still totally amazed at this performance. But I just finished watching a poolside video and noticed when camera panned towards diving area, divers were practicing away oblivious to what was going on. I mean every spectator in the building was screaming at the top of their lungs and it seemed like divers could care less. How could anyone who has spent half their life by a pool not notice (or care) that one of the greatest performances was taking place? Never been a fan of diving nor understood why the sports are combined.

mcmflyguy
Reply to  Walleywoo
2 months ago

TBF… they are warming up. they are focusing on their performance at NCAAs, they are getting mentally prepared. they are not spectating.

Walleywoo
Reply to  mcmflyguy
2 months ago

Certainly understandable during preliminary heats of the 1650. But it’s very unusual not to appreciate an opportunity to watch the greatest swimmer on planet throwing down the greatest performance of his career. But I too remember walking out of diving finals, the sports are not related. I would have stayed in the building to watch Greg Louganis if given the chance.

Blackflag82
Reply to  Walleywoo
2 months ago

I bet there were more swimmers warming up and not watching his performance that divers…

ooo
Reply to  Walleywoo
2 months ago

“Greatest performance of his career”. Many might disagree with this.

chinnychenchen
Reply to  Walleywoo
2 months ago

Do you ever see swimmers stop their warmup when there’s a great diving performance happening?

jablo
2 months ago

i think this comment deserves a look, this commenter unwittingly predicted the future https://swimswam.com/watch-haas-blasts-408-1-ncaa-record-500-free/#comment-674570

jablo
2 months ago

deleted

Last edited 2 months ago by jablo
European in the Pool
2 months ago

Did you notice the “Canal+” microphone positioned in front for Marchand’s interview?

Even the Frenchies back home want to know how their boy Leon is doing at NCAAs!

Dee
2 months ago

How amazing must it feel to be doing such incredible things whilst building towards a home Olympic Games – A thrill so very few will ever experience; I hope Leon is able to put the pressure aside and enjoy the next year.

Que la chance soit de ton cote.

SwimCoachDad
2 months ago

I’m sure this will get some dislikes. Marchand’s time was exceptional however, I wonder if he could have been closer to 4:00 if he had split it better. When Zane Grothe broke Clark Smith’s American record in 2017, he was out in 1:38 and was 2:03.1 at the 250, 2:04.1 the second 250. Marchand was out in 1:33.1 and was 1:57.9 at the 250 so back in 2:04.4. The entire difference in time between Zane’s 4:07.2 and Marchand’s 4:02.31 was in the first 250 and mostly the first 200. The second half, Grothe was even with Marchand even though he was almost 5 seconds behind. I have to wonder that if Marchand had gone out in 1:35, could he have… Read more »

eagleswim
Reply to  SwimCoachDad
2 months ago

no. mid-distance swimmers have been saying forever that what this event needs is for someone to just go out hard and hold on, that’s what marchand did and he took the record to a new level. and silly to compare his strategy to a swimmer like zane grothe who has a very different background and strengths and went way slower

Yabo
Reply to  eagleswim
2 months ago

A 7 second fade isn’t really holding imo. The next person who obliterated this record goes out the same speed I think and is still able to hammer the back half.

In general this kinda seems to be the pattern of mid d to distance races. The ebb and flow of taking it harder than anyone else has and dying but still going faster than anyone and then learning/training to go out that fast and just hang on for dear life.

This was kinda a part of what so impressive about ledecky: yes she’d just start off the pace faster than anyone else could or was willing to, but she also just managed to split a lot of her races… Read more »

M L
Reply to  Yabo
2 months ago

The next person who obliterated this record goes out the same speed I think and is still able to hammer the back half.

This is obvious given that there’s less time to be dropped in the first half of the race. The faster the record-holder went out, the likelier it is that anyone who “obliterates” his record will do so by cutting relatively more time from the back half.

Swimgeek
Reply to  eagleswim
2 months ago

Agreed – Grothe had to swim it very different bc he just didn’t have the speed Marchand has. https://twitter.com/zane_growth_ee/status/1773690812116644092?s=42

wlskskwooq
Reply to  SwimCoachDad
2 months ago

He’s the fastest performer ever, and he might’ve just changed how it’s “supposed” to be swam. Even splitting a 500 has worked for many people, but he just went the fastest ever by 4 seconds by practically sprinting the whole 500

leon
Reply to  SwimCoachDad
2 months ago

Your basic concept may be accurate, but you may be unaware of the context that has to be considered in deciding how to pace this race to have the best chance to maximize performance.

In the US, young kids often swim 5-10 500s annually, including meets where they swim both heats and finals.

This race was literally the 6th time he had ever swum a 500 SCY freestyle in competition. And considering the Pac-12 prelims and NCAA prelims were ‘build a lead and back off’ swims, he’s only had 4a efforts where he was out to maximize his results: in order,

1) last dual of 2023 against Arizona Leon swam a 500 SCY race for the first time after… Read more »

Eric Angle
Reply to  SwimCoachDad
2 months ago

I think we have this idea in swimming that if you’re going to go a certain time there’s a “right” way to split it. We especially admire a back half swimmer. I’ve been guilty of this myself. But with the exception of some outliers (Michael Andrew falling apart at the end of a 200 IM), maybe we need to let go of this idea. Could Marchand have closed faster if he backed off the first half? Of course. But would his final time have been faster? That’s all that really matters, and I’m not sure that it would’ve been faster.

Marchand has that unique mix of “easy” speed and amazing endurance. He can take races out faster than everyone else… Read more »

M L
Reply to  Eric Angle
2 months ago

Good points. Re Marchand’s easy speed: you could tell he was emphasizing a higher stroke rate on the first 50, where he almost took a half stroke on the first couple turns.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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