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Michael Phelps thinks time is running out for his latest individual world record.

Phelps has held the world record in the 400m individual medley since 2002. He lowered it a total of eight times, finally clocking 4 minutes and 3.84 seconds at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

“Hopefully, maybe I’m crossing my fingers, I’ll be greedy and try to keep this record for another year,” he said in an interview in France on Thursday.

Nobody swam less than a second until last June. It was then that France Leon Marchanda 20-year-old pupil of Phelps’ career coach Bob Bowman, shook Phelps time. He broke the world record for 350 meters before falling to 44 hundredths at the world championships.

“I’m thrilled to see a kid come and challenge this record,” Phelps said. “That’s what I want. I would like that.”

Marchand is a student-athlete at Arizona State. Phelps lives in Arizona. Marchand told the world championships in June that they hadn’t met, but sent a message.

“He reminds me a lot of myself with the competitiveness when you get into it, sort of a dogfight in a race,” Phelps said. “He doesn’t lose many.”

The ultra-competitive Phelps might have the motivation to make his world record last another year. If successful next June, he will break the record for the longest world record holding in an Olympic individual swimming event since World War II, according to Swimming Stats.

The next world championships will take place in July. Marchand is also preparing for an experience Phelps has never had – a home Olympics in Paris in 2024.

“To be able to swim here, on your soil, I will say I’m jealous,” Phelps said.

Phelps thinks another world record is on hold – the 200m freestyle held by the German Paul Biederman since 2009 (1:42.00).

“If there’s anyone on the planet who goes under 1:42 in the 200m freestyle, it’s probably Popovici,” he said.

Phelps was referring to David Popovici, the Romanian phenom who just turned 18, a month after breaking a 13-year-old world record in the 100m freestyle (46.86). In three meets this summer, Popovici swam six of the fastest 20 freestyles in 100m history.

“I mean, the kid did 46.9, 47.0, 47.0, 47.1, 47.1, 47.2 in the 100 freestyle this year,” Phelps said. “I pay attention to all that.”

In her Olympic debut in Tokyo, Popovici finished better in the 200m freestyle (fourth) than in the 100m (seventh).

Last month, he swam the fourth-fastest 200m freestyle in history – 1:42.97. It was one-hundredth of Phelps’ personal best in the event, which Phelps dubbed his best run of his eight-gold performance at the Beijing Games in 2008.

“To see someone swim as effectively as him, his stroke is very good,” Phelps said. “It’s only a matter of time before he gets even stronger and swims even faster.”

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