Leon Marchand Rattles 200 Breaststroke WR With 2:06.59 In Rennes

2023-06-11 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Leon Marchand in action today, courtesy of the FFN
Leon Marchand - courtesy of the FFN

Léon Marchand rocketed to a 2:06.59sec French record over 200m breaststroke on the first day of French Championships in Rennes this evening.

Fourth-fastest all-time, Marchand’s crushing of his 2:08.76 French record is the latest heavy hint that Arizona coach Bob Bowman will go down as the mentor who not only helped Michael Phelps on to the World record books but played a part in the confining to history the most phenomenal bull run in Olympic swimming history.

Phelps’s 4:03 global standard in the 400m medley has survived since 2008 but Marchand, the World champion since last year, looks likely to be the swimmer who takes down the last remaining solo World record still in Phelps’ grasp.

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Of course, the race in Rennes this evening delivered a delight in its own right: the 2:05.95 World record of Australian Zac Stubblety-Cook is a stroke and a stretch to the wall away. Only Anton Chupkov, of Russia (2:06.12) and Shoma Sato of Japan (2:06.40) have ever swum faster over four lengths breaststroke.

Racing for Dauphins Toulouse, Marchand raced inside World-record pace until the last length, Stubblety-Cook’s signature fast-finish to the fore. The splits compared:

28.89; 1:01.02 (32.13) 1:33.70 (32.68) 2:06.59 (32.69) Marchand, Rennes, June 2023
29.43; 1:01.89 (32.46) 1:34.32 (32.43) 2:05.95 (31.63) WR Stubblety-Cook, Adelaide, May 2022

Marchand’s season bests since 2019:

  • 2023 2:06.59
  • 2022 2:11.76
  • 2021 2:12.61
  • 2019 2:12.17 European Junior Championships

Closest to him was Marc Antoine, on 2:09.68 and also inside the qualification standard for a berth on the French team for World titles in Fukuoka, Japan, next month.

Marchand topped the bill on a fast and promising first sessions of finals at the championships in Rennes:

Results in full

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