The blue-white-red hero of the World Championships in Budapest will not necessarily be that of the Euros in Rome (August 11 to 17)… Léon Marchand, Hungarian triple medalist (gold in 400 m medley and 200 m medley and silver in 200 m butterfly), could skip the August meeting of Foro Italico, where many were already dreaming of seeing him beat Phelps’ world record in the 400m medley.
Originally, the Toulouse, 20, exiled in Arizona since last fall, had checked Italy in his summer destinations. “This is what was planned, we still have a plan but we can revise it, confides Nicolas Castel, his coach in Toulouse, who must take over for the summer from Bob Bowman with the Habs at the end of the Worlds. We’re going to leave ourselves until the end of the week to discuss a bit and think quietly about whether or not Léon is going to commit to Europe. We have to ask ourselves, see what happens next, make him weigh the pros and cons and make the best decision for him. »
Riding the wave of victory can be beneficial and formative. But knowing how to manage yourself with a view to the 2024 Olympics is essential. “Léon has done big World Championships (Editor’s note: he still has to give a hand in relay) and heavy seasons, continues Castel. He hasn’t stopped since the end of the 2020 confinement. We trained for a year for the Tokyo Games and then he went directly to the United States. So it’s been almost two and a half years non-stop. »
Wednesday, on leparisien.fr, Thomas Sammut, the mental trainer of the Frenchman, confided how important it is to know how to spare him. “Leon is not Michael Phelps,” he explained. I don’t want us to do too much to get him world records if in a year he cracks. When Phelps ended his first career (between 2012 and 2014), he sank into depression, alcohol, drugs. If we can avoid that in Leon…”
If Marchand does not take the road to Rome and prefers rest, he will still train with Castel until the start of the school year before joining Bowman at his base in Tempe.