Daniel Martin Snaps David Popovici’s Year-Long Win Streak at Romanian SC Nationals


David Popovici dropped more than a second off his best 100 IM time, but it wasn’t quite enough to secure his third national title in as many days at the Romanian Short Course Championships on Saturday.

Daniel Martin (53.41) handed Popovici (53.47) his first individual final defeat in over a year, snapping a 12-race winning streak that dated back to the 2021 FINA World Cup series last October.

Popovici lowered his lifetime best by .17 seconds in prelims with a 54.64 to take the top qualifying spot in an “off” event. The 18-year-old shaved another second off that mark during the evening session, but the 22-year-old Martin also dropped over a second en route to the gold medal. Robert Glinta’s national record of 52.45 sits just about a second out of reach of both Popovic and Martin.

“I wanted to win, but I have to learn to lose from time to time,” Popovici said. “It’s a test I’m new to. I’m not really good at everything. Makes me hungry again… It reminds me that, ‘You see, you’re not really good at everything.'”

The silver medal is Popovici’s third medal of the meet after sweeping the 100 free title on Thursday and the 200 free title on Friday. On Sunday, he’s set to swim the 400 free, where his personal best is a 3:46.08 from last year’s Short Course Worlds. At the 2021 Romanian Short Course Nationals last December, Popovici swept the 200 IM (1:57.56) and 400 IM (4:15.83) before going on to win the 200 free (1:43.21) at Short Course Worlds less than two weeks later. The LCM world record holder is slated for a 100 free showdown with SCM world record holder Kyle Chalmers at Short Course Worlds next month in Melbourne.

Breaststroke specialist Henrietta Fangli captured her third national title of the week in the women’s 100 IM final with a time of 1:02.25. In the process, the 21-year-old set a new national record, lowering a super-suited mark of 1:02.96 from Emma Malcomete in 2009. Fangli cruised to wins in the 50 breast (31.52) and 100 breast (1:07.68) earlier this week.

Three other swimmers picked up their second national titles of the week. Alexandra Bodganeci touched first in the 100 fly (1:00.13) to go along with her 50 fly victory, Maysa Ratiu took the 200 free title in 1:58.31 after already winning the 400 free, and Emil Dancanet topped the podium in the 100 breast (1:01.22) following the same result in the 200 breast.

Check out the full results below:


50 free

  1. Anastasia Maria Bako (CSA Steaua Bucharest) – 25:41
  2. Maysa Raţiu (CSA Steaua Steaua Bucharest) – 25:50
  3. Irina Ana Preda (CS Olimpia Bucharest) – 25:91

200 breast

  1. Brigitta Vass (CSŞ Viitorul Cluj-Napoca) – 2:26:82
  2. Tamara Ioana Lospa (ACS Euro Swimming Club Bucharest) – 2:30:88
  3. Henrietta Fangli (CSM Târgu Mureş) – 2:31:08

100 fly

  1. Alexandra Bogdaneci (CSU Pitesti) – 1:00:13
  2. Gabriela Ioana Gâdea (CSA Steaua Bucharest) – 1:01:57
  3. Simona Maria Predescu (ACS Euro Swimming Club Bucharest) – 1:01:70

200 free

  1. Maysa Raţiu (CSA Steaua Bucharest) – 1:58:31
  2. Ana Maria Sibişeanu (CSA Steaua Bucharest) – 2:00:68
  3. Anastasia Maria Bako (CSA Steaua Bucharest) – 2:00:92

100 IM

  1. Henrietta Fangli (CSM Târgu Mures) – 1:02:25
  2. Alexandra Dobrin (CSM Corona Braşov) – 1:03:32
  3. Gabriela Ioana Gâdea (CSA Steaua Bucharest) – 1:03:71


50 back

  1. Andrei Mircea Anghel (CSM Bucharest) – 23:56
  2. Andrei Ungur (CSM Braşov) – 23:71
  3. Cătălin Paul Ungur (CS Universitatea Cluj ) – 24:30

100 breast

  1. Emil Dăncăneţ (CSU Politehnica Timisoara) – 1:01:22
  2. Darius Ştefan Coman (CSM Corona Braşov) – 1:02:00
  3. Balazs Meszaros (CSM Târgu Mureş) – 1:02:04

200 fly

  1. Dragoş Ghile (CS Dinamo Bucharest) – 1:58:53
  2. Vlad Ştefan Mihalache (ACS Aqua Sport Citius Bucharest) – 1:58:76
  3. Eduard Rednic (CSA Steaua Bucharest) – 1:58:86

100 IM

  1. Daniel Cristian Martin (CSM Bacău) – 53:41
  2. David Popovici (CS Dinamo Bucharest) – 53:47
  3. Patrick Sebastian Dinu (CS Farul Constanţa) – 54:78

1500 free

  1. Vlad Ştefan Stancu (CSA Steaua Bucharest) – 14:41:14
  2. Ştefan Andrei Vasilescu (CSA Steaua Bucharest) – 15:32:90
  3. Vlad Alexandru Matei (ACS Aqua Sport Citius Bucharest) – 16:35:40

Mixed 200 medley relay

  1. CSU Politehnica Timisoara (Anna Urban, Emil Dăncăneţ, Letitia Andreea Motoş, Daria Elena Humă) – 1:49:06
  2. CSA Steaua Bucharest (Vlad Ştefan Stancu, Darius Cătălin Petrache, Andra Denisa Gorecki, Anastasia Maria Bako) – 1:49 :06
  3. CSM Constanța (Eric Ştefan Andries, Paula Maria Boleacu, Eva Maria Paraschiv, Darius Matei Trenchea) – 1:51:69
  4. CSM Corona Braşov (Elena Bianca Botezatu, Georgiana Şopterean, Alexandra Dobrin, Alexandru Nistorescu) – 1:51 :69
  5. CS Olimpia Bucharest (Cristian Andrei Dobre, Irina Ana Preda, Ana Irina Constantinescu, Alexandru Constantinescu) – 1:52:74

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20 days ago

Maybe a bit early to call Popovici a legend, maybe after Paris – a legend aged 17 without Olympic gold?

Reply to  Kim
20 days ago

If he’d been born a year earlier he sweeps the 100-200 free in Tokyo.

20 days ago

53.47 — the Chlorine Kid turned into a lead weight. That’s more than *FOUR* seconds off of GOAT sprinter Dressel’s WR.

Reply to  Tony
20 days ago

Dude 100IM is not even one of his events and swimming in season in the short pool! If Popovici does nothing else than own the 100m free LC WR he is a legend. 200m free LC WR would add to that. And he may hold them for a decade or more like Cielo or Biederman.

Reply to  Hank
19 days ago

Then obviously CD is a legend by having the 100 fly LC WR. (Except for the supersuited Cielo, he’s the fastest in the 50 free LC — and will add the WR in 2023 or 2024.)

Reply to  Tony
19 days ago

Other than the supersuited Cielo and the supersuited Bousquet* he’s the fastest in the 50 free LC.

Former Big10
21 days ago

he did this by going 7 seconds on his last 25, wild

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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