Leon Marchand Breaks His Own French Record With 4:09.09 400 IM


Leon Marchand got his World Championships off to a strong start, clocking a time of 4:09.09 in the prelims of the 400 IM. With this swim, he breaks his old French record of 4:09.65 from the French Championships last year, and sets a new best time by 0.56 seconds. In addition, this time is also faster than Chase Kalisz‘s mark of 4:09.42 that won Olympic gold last year.

Headed into finals, Marchand has the fastest time from prelims and will take the top seed. If he is able to match this time later, he will have a good shot at the gold medal.

Marchand’s performance also makes him the third-fastest European performer of all-time in the 400 IM, just behind Hungarians Laszlo Cseh and David Verraszto.

Top European Performers Of All-Time, Men’s 400 IM:

  1. Laszlo Cesh, Hungary – 4:06.16 (2008)
  2. David Verraszto, Hungary – 4:07.47 (2017)
  3. Leon Marchand, France – 4:09.09 (2022)
  4. Duncan Scott, Great Britain – 4:09.18 (2022)
  5. Max Litchfield, Great Britain – 4:09.62 (2017)

Compared to his previous record, Marchand went over a second faster on his butterfly and over three seconds faster on his backstroke. However, his back half this time around was much slower than it was last year, being slower on breaststroke and and freestyle by a significant margin. This either signifies a change in race strategy, or more likely that Marchand was holding back and has more in the tank for finals.

Comparative Splits:

Leon Marchand, 2022 Worlds Leon Marchand, 2021 French Championships
Fly 55.53 56.74
Back 1:02.59 1:06.16
Breast 1:10.13 1:08.94
Free 1:00.84 57.81
Total 4:09.09 4:09.65

Last year at the Olympics, Marchand finished sixth in the 400 IM final in a time of 4:11.86. However, his time of 4:10.09 from Tokyo prelims was good enough to win bronze.

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7 months ago

People also forget how good Laszlo was. 4:06…

7 months ago

ALLEZ LES BLEUS! About time we had another frenchman who could medal

7 months ago

If you add up his front half from this morning and his back half from a year ago, it gives a 4:06.4. I don’t know if he was holding back that second half but if he was we might see a very strong time from the frenchman.

7 months ago

poor carson 🙁

Reply to  mahaney
7 months ago

Well, maybe wait until tonight to put Carson and Chase to sleep?

Very strong swim from Leon, he will be fun to watch the next few years for sure

7 months ago

I’m voting that Marchand backed off when he found himself well out in front of his heat. The article makes it sound as though he is not a strong breaststroker / Freestyler. Not exactly accurate.

He won the NCAA 200 Breaststroke in a time making him the 2nd fastest performer in history; and a week later he won the San Antonio – TYR Pro Swim Series in 2:09.21, beating Nic Fink by over 2 seconds. He also had arguably the most impressive set of freestyle relay legs in the history of the sport for Arizona State this spring with an :18.41 rolling start on the third leg of the 4×50 Free, :41.17 anchoring 4×100 Medley Relay and 1:29.96 anchoring… Read more »

Mr Piano
7 months ago

Very reminiscent of when Phelps went 4:09.09 as an 18 year old. And both are coached by Bowman… I’m not saying that Marchand is the next Phelps, but he can take down 4:03.84 someday.

7 months ago

I’m waiting for Bogo Gigi comment.

7 months ago

I will be French for the 400 IM final tonight. Vive la France!

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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