Leon Marchand Crushes 4:04.28 400 IM European Record For #2 Swim In History

by Ben Dornan 93

June 18th, 2022 Europe, International, News


Leon Marchand of France had the swim of the day on day 1 of the 2022 World Championships, hitting a 4:04.28 to become the second-fastest swim in history. His time is a new personal best, a new French record, a new World Championships record, and a new European record.

Marchand’s time is second only to the legendary Michael Phelps who holds the world record in this event at a 4:03.84, which he swam at the 2008 Olympic Games. Marchand surpassed Ryan Lochte on the all-time rankings.

All-time Performances in the Men’s 400 IM

  1. Michael Phelps – 4:03.84 (2008)
  2. Leon Marchand – 4:04.28 (2022)
  3. Ryan Lochte – 4:05.18 (2012)
  4. Michael Phelps – 4:05.25 (2008)
  5. Chase Kalisz – 4:05.90 (2017)
  6. Kosuke Hagino – 4:06.05 (2016)
  7. Ryan Lochte – 4:06.08 (2008)
  8. Daiya Seto – 4:06.09 (2020)
  9. Laszlo Cseh – 4:06.16 (2008)
  10. Michael Phelps – 4:06.22 (2007)
  11. Carson Foster – 4:06.56 (2022)

Carson Foster swam a 4:06.56 for second place in this event and almost got into the top 10 in all-time performances, becoming the 8th-fastest man in history. Bronze medalist Kalisz swam a 4:07.47 to trail his PB of 4:05.90 from back in 2017.

This swim is an improvement upon Leon Marchand’s own French record of 4:09.09, which he set during the prelims of this meet. He also cracked a new European record, taking out Laszlo Cseh’s 4:06.16 from the 2008 Olympics.

Before June 18, 2022, Leon Marchand‘s best time in the 400 IM was a 4:09.65, which he swam in June 2021. In fact, that swim in 2021 was his only sub-4:10 swim in the 400 IM. Check out the splits comparison for Marchand’s three fastest swims in history as well as a comparison between his 4:04.28 swim a Phelps’ world record.

Split Comparisons


World Champs 2022 Final World Champs 2022 Prelims French Championships 2021
100 55.54 55.53 56.74
200 1:03.12 1:02.59 1:06.16
300 1:07.28 1:10.13 1:08.94
400 58.34 1:00.84 57.81

Marchand / Phelps

Marchand – World Champs 2022 Final Phelps – 2008 Olympics Final
100 55.54 54.92
200 1:03.12 1:01.57
300 1:07.28 1:10.56
400 58.34 56.79

Note that Marchand improved by nearly 3 seconds on the breaststroke leg from prelims to finals and also managed to shave 2.5 seconds off his freestyle split. During finals, his front half splits were both slightly slower than what he hit during prelims. Additionally, all of Phelps’ world record splits except for the breaststroke split were quicker than Marchand’s. Marchand swam a 1:07.28 to Phelps’ 1:10.56 on the third leg of the race and Phelps was more than a second faster than Marchand on the backstroke and freestyle legs.

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1 year ago

That was awesome by Marchand. 1:07.2 on breaststroke is just nuts.

In the shadow of that great swim, it’s easy to underrate how great 4:06 and 4:07 by Foster and Kalisz are. Really impressive podium times, the most impressive 1-2-3 we’ve ever seen.

And once again, Daiya Seto just never seems to be at his LC best when it counts.

Reply to  MTK
1 year ago

Never at his LC best when it counts? Daiya Seto has three LC world titles in the 400IM.

1 year ago

Under-waters win races

1 year ago

Crazy as how good he is his 400 IM time in short course was only the 3rd fastest of the season

Reply to  Facts
1 year ago

Your facts are wrong, Facts. Marchand had 2nd fastest SCY 400 IM of season, 3rd fastest all time.

Reply to  mds
1 year ago

Hugo and Carson both went faster.

1 year ago

I’m not even really his biggest fan but now Bowman has coached:

Phelps to a 4:03
Marchand to a 4:04
Kalisz to a 4:05

He knows what it takes to get it done in this race.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Riccardo
1 year ago

I mean he worked with Michael for years to get him to become the most versatile swimmer possible, so he probably has a few tricks up his sleeve

Reply to  Mr Piano
1 year ago

In some ways I would argue Chase going 4:05.9 is maybe his best coaching job.

His skillset in terms of speed in every stroke is not close to Phelps or Marchand. A better Breaststroke than Phelps but that’s it.

Tea rex
Reply to  Riccardo
1 year ago

Yeah, could peak Kalisz beat Marchand in ANY stroke??? Kalisz’s IM was so much greater than the sum of its parts, while Phelps’ was arguably a bit worse.

1 year ago

you gotta give credit to Bob Bowman here. I mean wow.

1 year ago


Michael Andrew Wilson
1 year ago

Wow. Did not anticipate that 4:03 getting threatened for at minimum a couple more years 😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲

1 year ago

Doesnt make any sense. Someone from french, with no medley swimming history, swimming a no PB with nearly 5 SECONDS, where even to gl faster with a second or two is big improvment.

Reply to  NathenDrake
1 year ago

He’s trained in the US by Phelps’ coach.

Slower Than You
Reply to  NathenDrake
1 year ago

Leon Marchand not having “medley swimming history” is possibly the funniest take I’ve seen on this website.

Reply to  Slower Than You
1 year ago

I talk about France, not him.
Simply doesnt make any sense to improve that much in one year. Its unheard of at this level. Phelps improved the record year after year, racing againt Cseh and Lochte most of the time.

Bo Swims
Reply to  NathenDrake
1 year ago

His dad won silver in the 200 IM at the 1998 World Champs. The IM history in France isn’t huge but its in his genes.

Reply to  NathenDrake
1 year ago

He also comes from great swim genes…Mother, Father, Uncle are all olympians.

Reply to  NathenDrake
1 year ago

Gonna guess you missed the NCAAs this year