Leon Marchand Sets 4th French Record This Summer with 2:08.76 200 Breast

At the Spanish Summer Open National Championships, Leon Marchand blasted 2:08.76 to set a new French Record in the 200 breast. He led from the start and won the event by 4.29 seconds ahead of Iceland’s Anton McKee. That time also would have been fourth at the 2022 World Championships, behind gold medalist Zac Stubblety-Cook and dual silver medalists Yu Hanaguruma and Erik Persson. This is his fourth national record of the summer.

 

The previous French Record stood at 2:08.94, which Hugues Duboscq set to win bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games. The time is almost a half-second drop for Marchand, whose old personal best was 2:09.24, done at the San Antonio Pro Series.

Split Comparison: Marchand’s Record, Duboscq’s Record, Marchand’s Previous Lifetime Best

Marchand – 2022 Spanish Championships Duboscq – 2008 Olympic Games Marchand – 2022 San Antonio PSS
50 29.53 29.17 29.60
100 1:02.02 (32.49) 1:01.71 (32.54) 1:02.47 (32.87)
150 1:35.16 (33.14) 1:34.89 (33.18) 1:35.86 (33.39)
200 2:08.76 (33.60) 2:08.94 (34.05) 2:09.24 (33.38)

These splits show that where Marchand made the most improvement from this spring is in the front half of his race. That improvement is what got him under the French record, as his closing 100 in San Antonio was already faster than Duboscq. In 2008, Duboscq was out in 1:01.71, faster than both of Marchand’s efforts, but Marchand has strong closing speed, which was on display in both of his swims.

Though Marchand did not swim a breaststroke event at Worlds, his prowess in the stroke was still on display. On the breaststroke leg of his world-record rattling 400 IM, Marchand’s split was over three seconds faster than Phelps’ split of his world record swim. While Phelps “caught” Marchand on the freestyle leg, Marchand roared to gold in 4:04.28, a new European record and the second-fastest 400 IM in history.

As Marchand is the reigning NCAA champion in the 200-yard breast, some questioned his choice to leave the event off his program in Budapest. However, the move paid off: in addition to his superlative 400 IM, Marchand won the 200 IM and took silver in the 200 fly. In all of his events, he set new French records and was named the Male Swimmer of the Meet.

Marchand is skipping August’s European Championships and taking a break before he begins his sophomore year at ASU.

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NathenDrake
6 months ago

Getting nonsense

David
6 months ago

Are alot of swimmers skipping Europeans ?

NB1
6 months ago

I think MP said he went 2:11. So that would mean that Marchand is going to see 1:53 soon, next to his name

jay
Reply to  NB1
6 months ago

2:11.30 in the 2015 US Nate for MP

Beginner Swimmer at 25
6 months ago

Closest new swimmer to Phelps and he is still overlooked. People don’t realize how shocking that 400IM was

Khachaturian
6 months ago

So, a 2:07 for sure at WC if he focused on it

Gator Chomp
Reply to  Khachaturian
6 months ago

I feel like the whole, “if he focused on it” narrative is overused, Marchand is so good across all the strokes and he obviously got plenty of breastroke work in to help his IM, and maybe if he focused on it he’d likely overtrain his breastroke and actually do worse … just a thought.

Gator Chomp
Reply to  Gator Chomp
6 months ago

Regardless, a super impressive swim

Pillow
6 months ago

IMO the 200 Fly and Breast are the more technical 200s out of the 4 strokes, with how good his 400IM is and just overall swimming technique he could be a strong lock for silver, just behind ZSC and Milak who are are miles ahead of everyone.

swimmer
Reply to  Pillow
6 months ago

What does more technical mean? It is hard to be world class in any 200

eye guy
Reply to  Pillow
6 months ago

You realize there are a handful of 2:06 200 breaststrokers, right?

swimmer
Reply to  eye guy
6 months ago

I guess he is a strong lock for 2nd in 200 breast and 200 fly

Louiggi
6 months ago

This guy will conquer 200s in all four strokes (+the IMs) quicker than MA in the 50’s… astonishing swims this Summer.

Buttafly
Reply to  Louiggi
6 months ago

As amazing as Leon is, which 50s is he better than MA in lol? Also not really sure he will ever be an elite guy in the 200 back. But yeah, Fly/Breast/IM he is a generational talent for sure

Swammer
Reply to  Buttafly
6 months ago

MA conquers 50s of stroke…Marchand conquers 200s of stroke. it was a comparison of dominance and versatility across distances not in events.

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  Buttafly
6 months ago

I don’t think you got the analogy. It’s Leon is to stroke 200s as Michael Andrew is to stroke 50s. I got this because of the old school SAT verbal portion.

Buttafly
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
6 months ago

Yeah that’s totally my bad- misread it completely haha.

NathenDrake
Reply to  Louiggi
6 months ago

Yeah from a “swimming nation” like france, where before him everybody was a freestyle swimmer or good in the 100 backstroke.
He doesnt make any sense at all.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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