After his title in the 400m medley on Saturday, Léon Marchand finished second at the World Championships in Budapest in the 200m butterfly (1’53”37). Hungarian Kristok Milak won the gold medal by smashing his own world record (1’50”34) at home in front of a packed audience.
Far from the best at the start of the final, the Frenchman (20 years old) completed a dazzling last 100m to catch up with the Briton James Guy (1’55”54), finally last, then the Japanese Tomoru Honda (1’53” 61), which completes the podium.
Two individual medals on a World Championship like the Manaudou
With 1’53”37, Marchand greatly improved the French record that he himself had beaten the day before, in the semi-finals (1’54”32), ending a 20-year wait for his previous holder, Franck Esposito. It was the latter who had won the last medal in the 200m butterfly for a Frenchman, with silver at the 1998 Worlds.
Thanks to this medal, his second at the World Championships in Budapest, Léon Marchand enters a very closed circle. That of the French holder of two individual medals on the same edition of the World Championships. Before him, only Laure Manaudou in 2007 (200m and 400m) and her brother Florent in 2015 (50m and 50m butterfly) had achieved such a performance.
The Toulousain, trained by Bob Bowman, the ex-mentor of the best swimmer in history Michael Phelps, has not yet finished his day of competition since he is engaged in the semi-final of the 200 m medley at 7:45 p.m. . He will aim for a third medal over this distance in the already successful Worlds.