David Popovici Busts Out 1:42.97 200 Free World Junior Record

2022 EUROPEAN AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

David Popovici of Romania has been unstoppable since the Olympic Games, including while competing at these 2022 European Championships.

The 17-year-old already nailed a new World Record in the men’s 100m freestyle two days ago, taking gold in a historic time of 46.86.

Popovici’s 46.86 World Record Post

Now on day 5, the Romanian rocket crushed the fastest 200m freestyle time of his career, roaring to the Rome wall in a time of 1:42.97. That not only took the gold tonight but it also established a monster new World Junior Record. It is also the fastest swim in history outside of the rubber suit era of 2008/2009.

Splitting 24.10/26.25/26.61/26.01, Popovici beat the field tonight by well over 2 seconds, with Swiss ace Antonio Djakovic taking silver in 1:45.60 and Austria’s Felix Auboeck getting it done for bronze in 1:45.89.

Entering this meet, the World Junior Record stood at the 1:43.21 Popovici threw down en route to taking the gold at this year’s World Championships. He also took the 100m freestyle title there in Budapest as well.

Splits for the 1:43.21 previous PB for the teen included 23.77/26.19/26.31/26.95, showing how Popovici was patient on the opening 50, saving a little extra for the final 50 this time around.

Per below, his final lap beat his final Budapest split of 26.95 by nearly one second.

Popovici Worlds Gold Popovici Europeans Gold
23.77 24.10
26.19 26.25
26.31 26.61
26.95 26.01

 

Popovici had already entered the list of all-time 200 freestyle performers with his previous WJR but he now frog-hopped Yannick Agnel to become the 3rd-fastest man in history in this event.

In terms of performances, Popovici is just .01 outside of tying American Olympic icon Michael Phelps, with tonight’s outing checking in as the 4th-fastest swim of all time and the fastest ever in a textile suit.

All-Time 200 Freestyle Performers

  1. Paul Biedermann (GER) – 1:42.00 (2009)
  2. Michael Phelps (USA) – 1:42.96 (2008)
  3. David Popovici (ROU) – 1:42.97 (2022)
  4. Yannick Agnel (FRA) – 1:43.14 (2012)
  5. Danila Izotov (RUS) – 1:43.90 (2009)

All-Time 200 Freestyle Performances

  1. Paul Biedermann (GER) – 1:42.00 (2009)
  2. Paul Biedermann (GER) – 1:42.81 (2009)
  3. Michael Phelps (USA) – 1:42.96 (2008)
  4. David Popovici (ROU) – 1:42.97 (2022)
  5. Yannick Agnel (FRA) – 1:43.14 (2012)

As Popovici’s previous WJR also stood as the European Junior Record, his time tonight now established a new standard for that mark. Additionally, his result obliterated the previous Championships Record of 1:44.79 Russia’s Martin Malyutin put on the books last year.

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Swim4L1fe
1 month ago

Isn’t this also a textile suit world record? Paul B and Phelps both used super suits in 2008/2009

free4life
1 month ago

He even breathed into his last turn and went this fast.

Davide
1 month ago

Now the only question is whether we’ll have to wait till the Olympics for the WR to be broken, in my opinion doing it in Fukuoka would be kinda nice, 22 years after that 1.44.06 by Thorpe… Considering that with popovici, what’s usually “almost impossibile” becomes “mildly difficult” there’s a good chance it’ll fall next year and I’m all for it!

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  Davide
1 month ago

I hope he breaks it in Fukuoka!

NB1
1 month ago

watching him is PURE JOY, beautiful strokes

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

Friends, Romans, Countrymen; lend me your ears:

So how fast can Popovici go in the M 50 FR?

Jason
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

Well, at 17 yrs of age Ian Thorpe went 1.45.3 then over the next two years dropped to 1.44.06. If David takes a second off this marvellous time, he’s into the 1.41’s. It’s possible.

What I would give to have Thorpe, Agnel, Phelps, PVH and Popovici all racing 200m free today.

Jason
Reply to  Jason
1 month ago

sorry, realised you asked about potential in the 50m. Was answering for 200m, into the future

Mike
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

I think his max will be 21.7-21.8 when he grows more muscle. He is better suited for the 100-200 IMO

Last edited 1 month ago by Mike
Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Mike
1 month ago

I’m thinking about the potential for a triple at the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

More likely to triple in the 100-200-400 but lets see how he does in the 400 this week first.

No way he beats Dressel in the 50.

swimfan210_
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

He went 22.16 at Euro Jrs this year, where he was also 47.54 in the 100, which suggests he might be able to go 21-high. I don’t think his stroke is suited to the 50, though.

Dion
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

I listened to his post race interview given to the romanian television yesterday.. He said he didn’t participate in the 50m because he simply needs more muscle for it, and that is a process that must be done properly(slowly/naturally). He can probably get under 22. We should all find out quite soon.. at Lima, in a couple of weeks. I think there is a decent probability for him to do 50m free there, function of his result tomorrow in the 400m.. Doing 50-100-200-400 seems to be too much. In the next 4 years the 100-200-400m will probably be his main targets, the 50m being a secondary one (depending of his weight gain/shape efficiency considerations overall).

Last edited 1 month ago by Dion
Go Kamminga Go
1 month ago

He’s a generational talent, he reminds me of Thorpe and Phelps who broke WRs almost everytime they swam.

Virtus
1 month ago

Angels record is gone 🦀🦀🦀

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  Virtus
1 month ago

Good news!

Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Virtus
1 month ago

Thank God!

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Virtus
1 month ago

Record was set in 2012, Agnel wasn’t gonna start caring about it for another 3 years.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Nolan
Billy
1 month ago

This young man is ABSOLUTELY unbelievable. I’m still having a problem wrapping my head around his rapid improvement and his times. And he’s not even 18 yet. Good grief!

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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