16-Yr-Old David Popovici Rips 1:46.15 200 Free At Romanian Nats

2021 ROMANIAN NATIONALS

While competing at the 2021 Romanian Nationals, seemingly always improving 16-year-old David Popovici powered his way to a super quick lifetime best and national record in the men’s 200m freestyle. The teen who has been dropping time left and right stopped the clock this weekend in a 1:46.15 stunner.

Popovici’s time from here in Bucharest destroyed his previous PB of 1:48.38, a mark he produced at this year’s European Championships. At Euros in Budapest, Popovici placed 20th, with his result checking in as a new national record. Splits for the teen in that swim included 53.35/55.03.

David Popovici, photo: Tudor Pirvu

Flash forward to this past weekend, however, and Popovici skipped right over the 1:47 zone and entered 1:46 territory in this 2free event, with his 1:46.15 dropping over 2 seconds from his May performance.

The digital clock inset in the video is difficult to read but it looks like Popovici was about 51.97 to his feet, which means he brought it home in roughly 54.18, with his elongated stroke pulling major water in a race essentially by himself.

For perspective on this 200m free, this Romanian weapon would own the American National Age Group Record by a mile, with his 1:46.15 easily sitting under Luca Urlando’s 1:47.73 from 2019. He now ranks 20th in the world in this event.

On his performance, Popovici told SwimSwam, “I trained for this 1:46 time but didn’t quite manage to achieve it in my last races.

“I started the race determined and ready to provide to myself that I can do it.”

He insightfully shared, “Actually, making it [the time] only showed me how good a friend of mine my brain is. I definitely learned a lesson about what I’m capable of achieving when I put my mind to it.”

Popovici also raced the 50m free in this meet where he notched a mark of 22.60, not terribly off his PB of 22.43.

Popovici thanks his coach Adrian Radulescu and now already has his sights set on dropping under 1:46 in this event, as well as pairing it with a sub-48 second performance in the 100m free.

That’s not that tall of an order in either event, with Popovici ripping a lifetime best of 48.08 in the 100m free at the European Championships to place 6th, again at just 16 years of age.

As a reminder, the World Junior Record for men in this event his held by South Korea’s Hwang Sun Woo in 1:44.96 from just this past May.

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Mean Dean
1 month ago

This kid is going to light up paris

Mojo
Reply to  Mean Dean
1 month ago

100% yeah!

AnEn
Reply to  Mean Dean
1 month ago

Maybe. I thought Grgic would light up Tokyo, but things can change very quickly. Even if he keeps improving, there are other super talented and super young guys, for example Hwang or Whittle. Other guys like Dean or Richards will still be easily young enough in Paris. I think there also was a 16 year old chinese guy going 48.7 in the 100 free this year and if i remember there was also a super fast australian kid in the 100 free.

nuotofan
Reply to  AnEn
1 month ago

Unfortunately Franko Grgic had shoulder problems after that Junior Worlds.

dresselgoat
1 month ago

His stroke is Phenomenal!

AnEn
Reply to  dresselgoat
1 month ago

Agreed, was my first thought when i first saw him (in the 100 free at the european championships).

Emg1986
1 month ago

….. At what point do we start talking about him as a dark horse?

dresselgoat
Reply to  Emg1986
1 month ago

I think it’s now

AnEn
Reply to  Emg1986
1 month ago

Not sure about the 200 free, but maybe in the 100 free. I definitely will have him in my top 8 in the 100 free. I feel that Hwang isn’t getting enough hype in the 200 free, i could see him winning a medal.

KSW
Reply to  Emg1986
1 month ago

Dont forget about hwang sun woo. 1:44.96 at 18 only a few weeks ago 👀

Deep End
1 month ago

We already know he’s capable of delivering in high pressure situations. Would be insane to see him in 2 finals, and a medal would be otherworldly. Seems like he could be a major player soon enough.

Is it time for someone to devote their career to breaking that 200 Free WR? He seems skinny.. maybe in 3-7 years with 20 more lbs he could take a run at it?

nuotofan
1 month ago

A genius will surprise you even when you’re one of his most persuaded fan. Popovici continues to surprise me.
What a swimming talent!

Horninco
1 month ago

1) Shallow Pool
2) Double breath into two walls
3) No SDK
4) breathed out of every turn, basically coming to a complete stop

That should have been a 1:44

Drewbrewsbeer
Reply to  Horninco
1 month ago

SDK?

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Drewbrewsbeer
1 month ago

Streamline dolphin kicks?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Drewbrewsbeer
1 month ago

streamlined dolphin kick

swimfan210_
Reply to  Drewbrewsbeer
1 month ago

streamline dolphin kicks

dresselgoat
Reply to  Horninco
1 month ago

We have all swam in a pool like that – everything feels slow and heavy

50Backstroker
Reply to  Horninco
1 month ago

5) No one to race him – even remotely

PBJSwimming
Reply to  Horninco
1 month ago

5) It was pretty windy

That guy has a brilliant stroke!

swan ronson
1 month ago

52.00 at the 100

Wahooswimfan
1 month ago

There is so much talent globally and great times being posted – this may be the deepest Olympics ever, with medals undoubtedly more widely spread than any Olympics before.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

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