SwimSwam Pulse: 65% Favor Marchand’s 400 IM Over Ceccon’s WR, Popovici’s 200 FR

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which performance was the early highlight of the 2022 World Championships:

Question: Which male swim was the highlight of the first half of Worlds?

RESULTS

This poll took a look at three breakthrough swims that took place in the early stages of last week’s World Championships.

Leon Marchand stunned the world when he put a scare into Michael Phelps‘ 14-year-old world record in the men’s 400 IM, Thomas Ceccon blew by the six-year-old world record by a quarter of a second in the men’s 100 back, and David Popovici became the first swimmer to break 1:44 in the 200 free in nearly a decade.

Each swim on its own stands up as one of immense significance.

Marchand swam a time more than five seconds faster than what it took to win Olympic gold last year. Ceccon absolutely obliterated the world record, having never broken 52 seconds previously and then coming in at 51.60. And the 17-year-old Popovici became the second-fastest swimmer in a textile suit, the fourth-fastest all-time, and was over a second quicker than the Olympic-winning time in the 200 free.

The poll results show us just how unexpected and incredible Marchand’s 400 IM was, as he garnered nearly two-thirds of the votes despite going up against two other swims that were two of the best we’ve seen in the past decade.

Marchand clocked in at 4:04.28, joining Phelps’ 4:03.84 from the 2008 Olympics as the only two in history sub-4:05.

Marchand came into the competition with a personal best (and French Record) of 4:09.65, and at the Tokyo Olympics, 4:09.42 was the time required to win gold.

Read more on Marchand’s swim here.

The European men really stepped up in Budapest, with some of the meet’s other top performances coming from Hungarian Kristof Milak in the 200 fly (1:50.34, new world record), Italian Gregorio Paltrinieri in the 1500 free (14:32.80, second-fastest swim in history) and the Italian men in the 400 medley relay (3:27.51, tying European Record and upsetting the U.S. for gold).

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: Who would you crown “Swimmer of the Meet” if you could only select one from the 2022 World Championships:

Who would you award "Swimmer of the World Championships" if you could only pick one?

View Results

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ABOUT A3 PERFORMANCE

A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.

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David
1 month ago

The 200 fly was the greatest performance of the meet.

Brownish
Reply to  David
1 month ago

Far.

PFA
1 month ago

Thing is before Leon swam the 4 IM in 4:04.2 I thought that maybe there was some improvement to be made likely in breastroke but never gave too much thought to it even Marchand at first. Boy was I wrong. Seems like there is a lot of improvement with the 4 IM world record. Also little fact if Marchand had the fly, back, and free splits Phelps had with his 4:03 and also had the 1:07 split to go along, Marchand would be 4:00.56 I now believe that it’s a possibility for him to challenge the sub 4 minute barrier. And honestly with Bowman I think there is definitely a chance for him to do that.

BrianD
Reply to  PFA
1 month ago

Phelps claimed there was room to lower this record. Marchand will never break 4:00 though.

NB1
1 month ago

some have already started the rumour that dropping 5 seconds in a year is suspicious. Thank God he didn’t break the world record, imagine the gossip then!?

Notanyswimmer
Reply to  NB1
1 month ago

Interesting how people only suspected Ye Shiwen and not any others, including Marchand. I wonder why that may be? 🤔

Mr Piano
Reply to  NB1
1 month ago

He did switch to Bowman, who’s the one who trained Michael to a 4:03

Boxall's Railing
Reply to  NB1
1 month ago

Also remember how young he is. Seems a plausible time drop, given the duration of the swim.

Jamesjabc
Reply to  NB1
1 month ago

People on here love to talk smack about anyone they can.

Someone repeatedly commented after Tokyo ‘Emma McKeon has never had any success in any of the 3 individual events she medaled in at Tokyo, that’s really suspicious’. She had literally won international medals in all 3.

Mike
1 month ago

The most amazing thing as posted in an article here had he swam his backstroke split from the heats he would’ve broken the record.

marklewis
1 month ago

Marchand’s 4:04 swim had the surprise factor because it was just a massive time drop and then it was close to the Phelps WR, the last one Phelps still holds.

Marchand and that red WR line have a date with destiny.

Meathead
1 month ago

I hate to say it, seeing how fast the swims at Worlds are, it sure looks like the Covid lockdown effected the times at the Olympics. Considering some of the best at the Olympics either didn’t compete (Emma) or left early (Dressel) from Worlds, it looks like as a whole, the sport has gotten faster since the Olympics. Remarkable

Notanyswimmer
Reply to  Meathead
1 month ago

I think what affected times the most at the Olympics were the morning finals. See how slow that 400 IM final was.

Jonathan
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

I’m pretty sure the 400 IM world record time was also swum in the morning.

Jamesjabc
Reply to  Jonathan
1 month ago

In a super suit

Mike
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

And this past year was far less interrupted from training and restrictions.
The fans also help a lot to swim fast

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Meathead
1 month ago

On the women’s side, there were only four events where the world’s winner was faster than Tokyo: Ledecky 800/1500, Walsh 200 IM and McIntosh 400 IM

torchbearer

Indeed- I think the men were faster and the women slower at the WCs….generally speaking.

Jamesjabc
Reply to  Meathead
1 month ago

The majority of events were slower than the Olympics. There were a few impressive time drops on the men’s side, but on the whole these were much slower than the Olympics.

Owlmando
1 month ago

Its tough cause theyre all absolutely phenomenal, incredible swims. Any of those performances removed from the others could have been the swim of the meet at tokyo or other recent major champs over the last decade.

So, not to take anything away from all the crazy good swims of the meet, I do think that 4:04 takes it by a hair cause it has so much going for it. Really unexpected rattle of a pretty much never grazed record.

IMO they all have grounds to argue why theyd take the crown. Hard to say, if they can be ranked its marginal

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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