After breaking the 13-year-old 100 free world record on Saturday in 46.86, 17-year-old David Popovici made history once again in Rome today. Popovici clocked a 1:42.97 200 free, making him the 3rd fastest man in history and the fastest in a textile suit ever.
Right after the race, SwimSwam spoke with the legendary coach of Michael Phelps, Bob Bowman. Bowman gave his insight into why Popovici is so good, stating that he has “an ability to pace”, which Bowman thinks is vital for having that kind of speed in long course meters. “He knows how to not only go for a race but go for it in a way so that he uses his energy effectively over the entire distance.”
Bowman also mentions that he told Phelps last night at dinner that he thought Popovici would go 1:42 in the 200m free at some point. Bowman says Popovici reminds him of a young Phelps, noting that “they were built similarly, really skinny, little guys… they’re generating speed by reducing drag, right? Which is the best way to do it anyway.”
Full podcast with coach Bowman drops tomorrow morning on SwimSwam.