Who is Leon Marchand?

In a thrilling turn of events at the world swimming championships in Japan, 21-year-old Leon Marchand achieved a remarkable feat, shattering legendary American swimmer Michael Phelps’ final individual world record in the 400m Individual Medley (IM).

Marchand’s Remarkable Feat

Under the guidance of renowned coach Bob Bowman, who played a pivotal role in Michael Phelps’ illustrious career, Leon Marchand secured a stunning time of 4 minutes and 2.50 seconds in the 400m IM, setting a new world record. This outstanding performance surpassed Phelps’ previous record of 4:03.84, which had remained unbeaten since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Phelps’ Legacy and Reign

Michael Phelps, widely regarded as the most decorated athlete in the history of the Summer Olympics, achieved an extraordinary feat by securing a total of 28 medals across five Olympics. Out of these achievements, an impressive 23 were gold medals, marking the highest number of Olympic golds ever achieved. Phelps also held world records in multiple events, such as the 200m freestyle, 100m and 200m butterfly, and 200m and 400m Individual Medley (IM).

Marchand’s Previous Near Miss

Notably, during the previous year’s world championships, Leon Marchand came tantalizingly close to Phelps’ record, missing it by a mere 44 hundredths of a second. This near-miss showcased his immense potential and laid the groundwork for his eventual record-breaking achievement.

Future Challenges and Choices

In the future, Marchand has upcoming competitions in the 200m butterfly, where he secured a silver medal last year, the 200m breaststroke (currently holding the title of the fourth-fastest man in history), and the 200m IM (the current reigning world champion). However, he may face a scheduling conflict and choose to withdraw from the 200m breaststroke event due to its semifinals coinciding with the 200m IM final.

Phelps’ Enduring Legacy

Although Phelps retired in 2016, his legacy lives on through his contributions to relay events. His world records in the 4x100m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle remain unbroken, with the former being the longest-standing world record and the last remaining one from the 2008 Olympics.



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