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Paris 2024 Olympics: Leon Marchand breaks his personal best in the 100m backstroke less than two months before the Games

Just under two months before the start of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, Leon Marchand has just broken his personal best in the 100m backstroke. This Sunday in Irvine, California, he clocked 54 seconds and 55 hundredths during the Speedo Grand Challenge.

This allowed him to snatch second place in the race. His old record for the distance dates back to October last year: a time of 55 seconds and 32 hundredths. But the Frenchman rarely competes in this discipline. This Sunday he lost to Hungary’s Hubert Kos (53.81), the reigning world champion in the 200m backstroke.

Promising performance

In two weeks, Léon Marchand is due to take part in the French Championships in Chartres, a can’t-miss event before the Olympic Games. He showed promising form over three days of competition this weekend in California.

On Saturday he won the 100m butterfly (52.56), very close to his personal best (52.42). The day before, he achieved success in the 100-meter breaststroke (59.06). The Toulouse native then completed the 200m medley, one of his specialties, in 1 minute 55 seconds and 74 hundredths, his third fastest time after two world titles in the discipline in 2022 and 2023.

The only downside was that Marchand was disqualified Sunday in the 100-meter freestyle for swimming too long after he managed to run 50 seconds and 43 hundredths, his best in a race he rarely competes in.

Marchand dazzled at the World Championships in Fukuoka last year, winning three titles (200m and 400m medley, 200m butterfly) as well as the 400m medley world record previously held by legend Michael Phelps.

Source: Le Parisien

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