Bob Bowman on David Popovici: “He reminds me of Michael at a very young age”

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.

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1 year ago

Swim Swam can you do a technical comparison of Phelps Beijing 200free and Popovicis Rome 200free?

1 year ago

Translation: there is still a lane left in my pro group.

Reply to  JDM
1 year ago

if there wasnt room Bob would make room, Popovic is that sort of rare talent!

Reply to  Mosu101
1 year ago

Yeah, I think David makes a spot at any training group in the world if he wants to.

But also, why would he? He’s killing it being at home in Romania, and if he wins Olympic gold medals while training there, they might just elect him president.

1 year ago

Popovici in Tokyo last year was where Phelps was at the 2000 Olympics- someone who had the potential to be a generational talent but who wasn’t quite there yet.

Reply to  Beachmouse
1 year ago

Eh, he just broke a world record in the 100 free and put up the fastest textile 200. He’s already a generational talent

Reply to  Swammer438
1 year ago

I wish you knew how to read.

Reply to  Beachmouse
1 year ago

And now is more like the year after the 2000 Olympics when Phelps broke his first WR in 2 fly and showed exceptional skill in other events.

Last edited 1 year ago by Meeeee
1 year ago

Didn’t Bob say that about Leon Marchand as well ? I feel like Bob might be seeing Michael everywhere in his aging days haha

Grammar Police
Reply to  CasualSwimmer
1 year ago

how do you not see that Leon and David are the closest to MP that we’ve seen since the Phelps era? Just because he’s saying it twice, doesn’t mean either is wrong

Reply to  CasualSwimmer
1 year ago

I mean it’s the two guys who are scratching at arguably michael’s most impressive times, I’m not surprised he sees some of michael in both. probably sees michael’s stroke in milak too

Reply to  eagleswim
1 year ago

And in the 200 Free and 400 IM, MP best times are from the suit era. The ones done now are way ahead of the MP textile times. (1:43.86 and 4:06.22).

Reply to  CasualSwimmer
1 year ago

He knows a champ when he sees one

Alex Wilson
Reply to  NB1
1 year ago

And how to develop them to make them faster.

Armstrong 100 back gold in Fukuoka
Reply to  CasualSwimmer
1 year ago

MP = Popovici + Milak + Marchand = the GOAT


So true he was all 3 at one time.

Reply to  Taa
1 year ago

And a super suit


Of the 3, Marchand still has a little more to go to be worthy (200IM)

Reply to  CasualSwimmer
1 year ago

Did you listen to the interview at all?

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