Marchand Fires Off 1:58.97 200 IM As France’s 2nd Fastest Man Ever


While competing on day 1 of the FFN Golden Tour in Marseille, Arizona State University commit Leon Marchand busted out the fastest 200m IM performance of his life en route to silver.

Stopping the clock in a massive mark of 1:58.97, the 18-year-old got to the wall less than a second behind winner Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland. Desplanches, who took silver in this event at the 2019 FINA World Championships captured gold here in France in 1:57.50.

Back to Marchand, however, the future Sun Devil had never before been under the 2:00 mark in this 200m IM prior to tonight’s outing. Previously, Marchand’s career-quickest was represented by the 2:00.66 he produced in the semifinals of the 2019 European Junior Championships.

Around that same time, Marchand broke the French senior national record in the 400m IM, scoring a lifetime best of 4:16.37 for bronze at the 2019 FINA World Championships.

Splits for Marchand’s 1:58.97 this evening included 26.04/30.88 (56.92); 33.49/28.56 (1:02.05) to render the Bob Bowman-bound teen as France’s 2nd fastest performer all-time, as well as just the 2nd Frenchman to ever get under the 2:00 barrier in this 200m IM event.

Top 5 Frenchman in LCM 200 IM:

  1. Jeremy Stravius – 1:57.89, 2013
  2. Leon Marchand – 1:58.97, 2021
  3. Samy Helmbacher – 2:00.38, 2019
  4. Fabien Horth – 2:00.47, 2009
  5. Ganesh Pedurand – 2:00.52, 2016

For young Marchand, his outing here also dips under the FINA ‘A’ cut needed for the postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan this summer. That standard rests at 1:59.67, so the teen surpassed it in spades.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 months ago

He is swims for the club, Toulouse. Let’s give the club and his coach some credit. Not one mention in the article. He hasn’t swum one stroke at ASU yet. I think Swimswam has an International audience. Nice swim Marchand and his coach and his club!

Reply to  Ghost
6 months ago

You’re right that his current club should get some credit in the article, but they’re more interested in the narrative that bowman is getting another teen IM phenom.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

Read More »