World Championships, Day 1 Prelims: Carson Foster Sets 400 IM Pace, but Leon Marchand Poised

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Editorial content for the 2023 World Aquatics Championships is sponsored by FINIS, a longtime partner of Swimming World and leading innovator of suits, goggles and equipment.


World Championships, Day 1 Prelims: Carson Foster Sets 400 IM Pace, but Leon Marchand Poised

The heat sheet for Sunday night’s final in the men’s 400 individual medley at the World Aquatics Championships will place Carson Foster as the top seed. But the front half authored by Leon Marchand before shutting down shop in prelims in Fukuoka will offer pause in anointing the American the favorite.

Both standouts took care of business in prelims at Marine Messe Hall. Foster won the second heat of three, the first circle-seeded heat, in 4:09.83. Marchand went out under world-record pace for the first 100 meters but turned it off late to finish second in 4:10.88.

Foster, the silver medalist in this event in Budapest last year, controlled the first of two circle-seeded heats. He built a big lead with his picturesque breaststroke, he and Daiya Seto pulling away from the field by several body lengths. It would come back together coming home, either through Foster and Seto letting up a fraction or the two behind him pushing hard. Seto was easily second in the heat and third overall in 4:10.89. Alberto Razzetti of Italy closed hard to get in in 4:11.57, good for fourth overall. Not far behind was Brendon Smith, fifth in 4:11.74.

The second heat was all Marchand, who won the event in a competition record last year in Budapest. Trailing him was Chase Kalisz, the bronze medalist at the last Worlds, in 4:12.37.

It took a 4:12 to reach the final, with Balazs Hollo of Hungary seventh and Lewis Clareburt of New Zealand eighth.


Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x