April 17, 2024 1:30 pm
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Marchand Obliterates Phelps’ Final World Record in Stunning Fashion

France’s Leon Marchand breaks Michael Phelps’s last remaining world record, winning the men’s 400m individual medley at swimming’s world championships in Japan. Marchand smashes Phelps’s record by clocking 4 min, 02.50 sec, taking more than a second off Phelps’s benchmark of 4:03.84 that stood since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, making it the longest-held world record in swimming.

Marchand, set to be one of the faces of next year’s Paris Olympics, declares that “the best is yet to come” after his incredible achievement. The 21-year-old describes his race as “insane” and “one of the most painful things” he has done. He expresses his astonishment at achieving such a remarkable time.

France’s Leon Marchand reacts after winning in the final of the men’s 400m medley swimming event during the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka on July 23, 2023.

Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with a record 28 medals, presents Marchand with his gold medal. Marchand reveals that Phelps was impressed by his time and gave him advice on how to further improve. Marchand, coached by Phelps’s former mentor Bob Bowman, expresses his excitement at hearing Phelps commentate the race and appreciate his achievement.

  1. Marchand finishes ahead of American Carson Foster, who clocks 4:06.56, and Japan’s Daiya Seto, who comes in third with a time of 4:09.41. Foster describes the experience of watching Marchand break Phelps’s record as “pretty cool” and expresses his admiration for Marchand as a competitor.
  2. During last year’s world championships in Budapest, Marchand swam the second-fastest 400 IM ever, finishing in 4:04.28. Marchand shares that he has worked on his weaknesses since then and is pleased with how he executed the race, setting the right pace at the beginning and finishing strong.

Gold medallist France’s Leon Marchand poses after the medals ceremony for men’s 400m medley swimming event during the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka on July 23, 2023.

Marchand sees breaking the record as just “a step in his journey”. He remains focused on the Paris Olympics next year and is confident in handling the pressure. He acknowledges that there is room for improvement and is determined to make progress over the next year.

Marchand is set to defend his world title in the 200m individual medley this week in Fukuoka. He will also compete in the 200m butterfly, while his participation in the 200m breaststroke is yet to be decided.

AFP

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