Jean-Baptiste Sarrazin, with AFP 18:13 p.m., March 27, 2023

Léon Marchand, two-time world swimming champion, continues to grow in power. After winning three university titles in the United States last week, the French swimmer confirms his good form and advances as a great medal chance for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

From a young age, Léon Marchand never ceased to disgust the competition and impress American commentators. The 20-year-old French swimmer, who studies and trains in the United States, at Arizona State University, is a real swimming phenomenon as he was able to demonstrate last week by winning three titles at the NCAA university championships and as many new records to his credit. Highly commented performances across the Channel and which bode well for the native of Toulouse just over a year before the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

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Léon Marchand set the fastest time in collegiate history in the 200-yard breaststroke in 1.46:91, retaining his NCAA title. Last year, he won in a much slower time of 1.48:20, proof that his progress over the distance was dazzling. On Thursday, the swimmer won the 200-yard individual medley in 1.36:34, again setting the new benchmark time. But the Frenchman did even stronger Friday by becoming the first swimmer to dip under 3:30 (3.28:82) in the 400-yard individual medley, effectively winning the title.

Another NCAA record & national title for the road ✅

Léon Marchand breaks his own NCAA record to win the 200 breast at 1:46.91 for his third title in as many days

@espn |

— Sun Devil Swim/Dive (@ASUSwimDive) March 26, 2023

The star of the 2024 Olympics?

There is in the young swimmer of 20 years, a multidisciplinarity that could recall the former American swimmer Michael Phelps. Common point with the latter, the coach Bob Bowman who was neither more nor less than the coach of the most decorated sportsman in the history of the Olympic Games (28 medals including 23 gold, all won between 2004 and 2016) and who has now taken under his wing the Frenchman.

Rigor, discipline and motivation, Léon Marchand is well supported to continue to progress and accomplish new feats in the years to come. Although these university records take place over short distances, the Toulouse swimmer intends to repeat these performances in the large pool. And he has the ability. Last summer, Léon Marchand managed the feat of winning three medals at the World Championships in Budapest, including two gold in the 200m 4 medley and 400m 4 medley. He became the first French swimmer in history to win three medals in a single world competition.


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The computer science student could repeat this feat, or even beat it next summer at the World Swimming Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. Léon Marchand could thus enter a little more into the history of swimming. Enough to send a message to the competition, just over a year before the Paris 2024 Olympic Games where the Frenchman could write his name in the legend in front of his public.