Newly-Minted French 400 IM Record Holder Leon Marchand Wins Open Water Race


The Martigues – Étang de Berre Trophy open water competition took place on Sunday, September 1st in Martigues, France, a city just west of Marseille. Swimmers could take on a 2.5k, 5k and 4x500m relay distances in the Mediterranean Sea, with several notable names making their mark on the races.

For the women’s 5k race, it was Lara Grangeon who topped the field. The 27-year-old New Caledonian most recently took bronze in the grueling 25k open water race at this year’s FINA World Aquatic Championships in Gwangju, Korea. A former European medalist in the pool, she already has her Olympic ticket booked in the 10km open water marathon swim.

The men’s 5k race saw Marc-Antoine Olivier surge to the time pad first. Olivier was also in Gwangju just weeks ago where the 23-year-old reaped silver in the 10k race.

Taking on his very first official open water race, 17-year-old Leon Marchand came out on top of the men’s 2.5k race in Martigues. Marchand took bronze in the 400m IM in Budapest at this year’s World Junior Championships, establishing a new senior French National Record of 4:16.37 in the process.

As for his first open water experience, Marchand said he took on the challenge after having been invited by the organization. To SwimSwam today he described his race as ‘fun’ and actually tackled the race while he was on vacation. The teen told us he raced in a brief, while all other swimmers were in typical open water ‘jammer’ suits.



Leave a Reply

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

Read More »