Marchand Fires Off 1:58.97 200 IM As France’s 2nd Fastest Man Ever


FFN GOLDEN TOUR – MARSEILLE

While competing on day 1 of the FFN Golden Tour in Marseille, Arizona State University commit Leon Marchand busted out the fastest 200m IM performance of his life en route to silver.

Stopping the clock in a massive mark of 1:58.97, the 18-year-old got to the wall less than a second behind winner Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland. Desplanches, who took silver in this event at the 2019 FINA World Championships captured gold here in France in 1:57.50.

Back to Marchand, however, the future Sun Devil had never before been under the 2:00 mark in this 200m IM prior to tonight’s outing. Previously, Marchand’s career-quickest was represented by the 2:00.66 he produced in the semifinals of the 2019 European Junior Championships.

Around that same time, Marchand broke the French senior national record in the 400m IM, scoring a lifetime best of 4:16.37 for bronze at the 2019 FINA World Championships.

Splits for Marchand’s 1:58.97 this evening included 26.04/30.88 (56.92); 33.49/28.56 (1:02.05) to render the Bob Bowman-bound teen as France’s 2nd fastest performer all-time, as well as just the 2nd Frenchman to ever get under the 2:00 barrier in this 200m IM event.

Top 5 Frenchman in LCM 200 IM:

  1. Jeremy Stravius – 1:57.89, 2013
  2. Leon Marchand – 1:58.97, 2021
  3. Samy Helmbacher – 2:00.38, 2019
  4. Fabien Horth – 2:00.47, 2009
  5. Ganesh Pedurand – 2:00.52, 2016

For young Marchand, his outing here also dips under the FINA ‘A’ cut needed for the postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan this summer. That standard rests at 1:59.67, so the teen surpassed it in spades.





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