FUKOKA, Japan — Arizona State sophomore Léon Marchand broke legend Michael Phelps’ last remaining individual record, cashing in a time of 4:02.50 in the 400 meter individual medley at the World Aquatic Championships.
The legend of Michael Phelps, who retired seven years ago, still stands tall over the world of swimming. Phelps once held records in the 200m free, 100m and 200m flies and 200m and 400m IMs, but his 400 IM was the last to fall.
Marchand, 21, trains under Phelps’ career-long coach Bob Bowman at ASU. Prior to Marchand’s event, the two have not met, but Phelps, who was in attendance, stated he was confident Marchand could break it.
And he did by 1.34 seconds.
WHAT A SWIM!— NBC Olympics & Paralympics (@NBCOlympics) July 23, 2023
With the sports legend calling the race, France's Leon Marchand breaks Michael Phelps' last individual world record to win the world title in the men's 400m IM with a time of 4:02.50. #AQUAFukuoka23 pic.twitter.com/KV3tzXTPAo
The French native was only six years old when Phelps set the record at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and held it for 21 years.
Marchand now holds a legends record while also boasting records in the french long course 200 meter individual medley, 200 meter butterfly and 200 meter breaststroke.
In 2022, he captured NCAA titles in the 200 yard breaststroke and 200 yard individual medley. And in 2023, he captured NCAA titles in the 200 yard breaststroke, 200 yard individual medley, and 400 yard individual medley.