LIVEBARN Race of the Week: Marchand Erases Phelps’ Last World Record in 400 IM (4:02.50)

Leon Marchand erased Michael Phelps‘ last individual world record from the books with his 400 IM victory in 4:02.50 on Sunday, sending waves throughout the sport world — including a SportsCenter Top 10 shoutout.

The 21-year-old Frenchman dropped over a second off Phelps’ former record of 4:03.84 from the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Phelps first set the world record back in 2002 (4:11.09), having held the mark for a total of 20 years and 342 days. Fittingly, Phelps was in attendance for Marchand’s record-breaking performance in Fukuoka and awarded him his gold medal after the win.

According to one analysis of Marchand’s race, his speed on the surface was relatively similar to his previous-best 4:04.28 from last year’s world title, but he improved by more than seconds on his underwaters alone.

Splits Comparison:

LEON MARCHAND, 2023 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS MICHAEL PHELPS, 2008 SUMMER OLYMPICS LEON MARCHAND, 2022 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Fly 54.66 54.92 55.54
Back 1:01.98 1:01.57 1:03.12
Breast 1:07.64 1:10.56 1:07.28
Free 58.22 56.79 58.34
Total 4:02.50 4:03.84 4:04.28

Watch SwimSwam’s reaction video of Leon’s race here:

This is your LIVEBARN Race of the Week because even though many have seen this coming for a year, watching Marchand take down a record that was considered untouchable a few years ago — with Phelps in attendance for commentary and support — more than lived up to the hype.

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Jimmy DeSnuts
10 months ago

dang this Leon kid aint too bad, he should probably keep up swimming tbh, if he put in some hard work he could really be good.

phelpsthegoat
Reply to  Jimmy DeSnuts
10 months ago

He might be able to compete with the big guys.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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