19 years old, French record holder in the 400m medley and Olympic finalist… Léon Marchand is precocious.
This Saturday, the Toulousain signed the 7th fastest time in the series (4′10 ″ 09) and obtained his place in the final of the Tokyo Olympics.
Fourth in his race, Léon Marchand finished strong in the last 150 meters to ensure his qualification.
“Strategically, it was nice, because they all started faster, and I was able to come back to breaststroke, my strong point.
Afterwards, in the crawl, it was the battle with everyone, it was really cool.
I lived it thoroughly, and I qualified in the final, it's really great!
», He declared after his series.
The final will take place tonight, at 3.30am French time between Saturday and Sunday.
A final that promises to be open
Announced as a great hope for French swimming for the Paris 2024 Olympics, Léon Marchand has shown that he should be counted on from this season. Son of two former international swimmers (Céline Bonnet and Xavier Marchand, vice-world champion in the 200m medley in 1998), Léon Marchand can dream of a medal this Sunday (3:30 am French time), in a final that promises to be undecided, as eight swimmers finished in the same second during the heats.
Above all, it will take place without the Japanese Daiya Seto, three-time world champion and big favorite for the Olympic title, eliminated to everyone's surprise with the 9th time in the series.
It was the Australian Brendon Smith who set the best time among the finalists, in 4′09 ″ 27.
“The level was really high, 4′10 ′ 'to enter the final, it's unheard of, analyzed the French after his race with our colleagues from L'Équipe.
It promises a great final tomorrow.
I have nothing more to lose, I am entering the final at the Games.
Also engaged in the 200m medley and 200m butterfly, Léon Marchand is preparing to live an eventful week for his first Olympic Games.
A good way to impress even more Bob Bowman, mentor of Michael Phelps, who will become his coach at Arizona State University in the United States at the start of the school year.