“All the sacrifices I make during the year, it’s not for nothing”said Friday June 24 on franceinfo Léon Marchand, revelation of the world swimming championships, after the three individual medals brought back from Budapest, two in gold on the 400 m and the 200 m medley and one in silver on the 200 m butterfly . “I exceeded my expectations”assures Léon Marchand who “starts to realize slowly” what happens to him.
franceinfo: How do you feel after your two titles?
Leon Merchant: I’m slowly starting to realize what’s happening to me. I see messages from everyone who has seen my run. I got calls, I got lots of feedback. And suddenly, I begin to realize what I have done. There have been a lot of emotions this week. And then I’m just proud of myself, of what I was able to do. It’s only positive.
Are you beyond what you expected?
Yes, clearly. I wanted to medal in one of the races. During the year, I saw that I still had good results and that I was on the right track to compete well at the world championships. I didn’t expect to swim so fast and be so consistent over the three races.
“To have done three medals, I think it’s really solid. I exceeded my expectations. It’s perfect.”Leon Marchand
For the past two years, I’ve only gained seconds in each of my races. And there, it materializes, we are getting closer to the world record. We set a European record. These are things that will stay, so it’s more concrete.
Has the way people look at you changed?
Yes, I think that has changed. Then it depends. My friends will always remain the same. But the look has changed. There are many more people asking me or asking me for photos and autographs. These are things that show that people liked what I did. I love that. Afterwards, I must not go out of my project, ie to swim as quickly as possible. But that, I think I know how to do. I know how to share things. And I’m super happy to share things with others. It’s pretty cool.
Did family support matter? Is this also their success?
Yes. My whole family is part of my project. They travel for competitions. There, it was really the good moment. The first day, I was very fit. The 404 (four times medley) is kind of my favorite race. My whole family was there, my grandparents came in a motorhome. It was great to see them here. I am very happy to offer them this to show them that all the sacrifices I make during the year are not for nothing. Swimming is still quite difficult. So we take advantage of those times.