Leon Marchand arrived earlier than expected.
The 20-year-old Frenchman set the second fastest time in the men’s 400m medley history as he won the title at the World Championships in Budapest on Saturday.
“Now I can call myself a good swimmer,” he said happily after swimming for 4 minutes and 4.28 seconds.
There is an aura on the record he is chasing, 4: 03.84. It is the oldest of the Olympic distances and was set by the legendary Michael Phelps at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The day before Phelps helped set the second oldest record in the 400m freestyle relay.
After a fierce breaststroke tripod on Saturday night, Marchan was inside the world record pace before a slight decline in freestyle.
Marchan was dazzled while talking to the media.
“I didn’t really expect to swim at 4:04,” he said.
“I bumped into the wall and saw the little light we said was the first. It’s really huge and it feels” awesome “. I don’t know what I did today, but I just enjoyed it. “
“I had a little trouble crawling,” he said. “But I think we can do it next time.”
Young Leon won the world’s gold medal 24 years after his father Xavier won the silver medal in the 200-meter medley in Perth, Australia.
My son will be in the event later in the championship. He also fits in a 200 meter butterfly.
Leon swam these three events in Tokyo. He was sixth in the 400m medley and reached the semifinals on the fly, but he did not pass the heat of the 200m medley.
Leon’s mother, Celine Bonnet, held a French record in the 100-meter and 200-meter medleys.
“My mom always gave me a lot of advice about the 400m medley, so that makes a lot of sense, and so does my dad,” he said.
“The 400m medley is great for all-round swimming, with a little bit of everything in it,” he said.
“Now I can call myself a good swimmer because I can do a little bit of everything and swim 4.04. This is the second fastest time in history.
“I’m very happy that some of my family came to see me. It was very cool.”
Marchan is chasing Phelps with the help of former American star mentor Bob Bowman.
After Tokyo, Merchand left his hometown of Toulouse and moved to Arizona State University, where Bowman coaches.
“Bob creates an environment for me every day in training, which allows me to work really hard and improve, whether it’s mental or physical,” explained Merchand.
“Every workout is interesting. When I get out of practice, I tell myself,” I improved it. ” It’s concrete.
“I don’t rap to rap. I find my job more efficient. He gives me a lot of tranquility as I get closer to the competition. He’s very accurate. I have a plan. “
Marchan had to pass the fastest qualifying in the morning heat and then wait until the evening final.
“I tried to think about things other than swimming,” he said.
“If you try to get away a little, your head will explode. It’s not easy because I had the best time in the semifinals. I think I can handle it better now.”
Although it was the fastest in the morning, Marchan did not announce the fierce speed he gained in the breaststroke until the final.
“I didn’t put up with it this morning, but I still swam fast. I did the right thing. I was really relaxed tonight.”