David Popovici Climbing All-Time Rankings of Most Sub-48 Swims in 100 Free

David Popovici is the new men’s 100 freestyle world record holder. He won the event at the 2022 European Championships in a 46.86, 0.05 faster than Cesar Cielo’s previous standard from 2009.

Popovici is also the only swimmer in history to crack the 47-second barrier twice in the event, as he set a 46.98 during the semifinals in Rome.

But how many sub-48 swims has he registered? Since 2021, he has been in the 47-second territory many times, as he has been swimming many international competitions in long course meters (Olympics, World Championships, European Championships, European Junior Championships).

Instagram’s Swimming Stats recently published the list of the swimmers with the most sub-48 swims in history. And it is no surprise that, at 17 years of age, Popovici is already high on the list.

His first sub-48 was set last year, in July, during the European Junior Championships in Rome. In the period of one year, he has cracked the 48-second 15 times – more than legendary swimmers Cesar Cielo, Alain Bernard, Cameron McEvoy and Nathan Adrian.

Leading the list, Caeleb Dressel has set 24 sub-48 swims since 2016. Actually, until 2021, James Magnussen was the leader with 18 sub-48 swims, until Dressel surpassed him during the Tokyo Olympics.

In 2022, Popovici has been under the 48-second barrier 11 times so far, tied for the most ever in a calendar year. Alessandro Miressi also cracked the 48-second barrier 11 times in 2021.

But 2022 is not over, and maybe we will see some more sub-48 swims by Popovici. Or, who knows, some more sub-47?

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Tommy Schmitt
1 month ago

Damn, this really nails down how much a guy like Bernard benefitted from the supersuits

Mark
Reply to  Tommy Schmitt
1 month ago

Agreed- no sub 48 before 2008 and none after 2009.

Kuta
Reply to  Tommy Schmitt
1 month ago

It also underscores how great Popovici really is at such a young age.

Mott
1 month ago

Wow at Miressi! Consistently underrated

hzmusicswim
Reply to  Mott
1 month ago

Was scrolling down hoping someone would have commented this 🙂

SwimFan99
1 month ago

Honorable mention to Brent Hayden who went 47.xx on 10 different occasions!

Chris
Reply to  SwimFan99
1 month ago

Brent also went a 47.56 leading off the Canadian relay in Beijing (2008) and a 47.99 leading off the Canadian relay in Tokyo (2021). This 13-year range is unparalleled by any of the best sprinters since a sub-48 was first swum by Pieter van den Hoogenband in 2000.

Jamesabc
1 month ago

Based on these stats you would think Australia would be better at the 100 free relay. What I wouldn’t give for a McEvoy renaissance…

Robbos
Reply to  Jamesabc
1 month ago

Whatever happened to him, he was so good & then kapow.

flicker
Reply to  Jamesabc
1 month ago

to have the 2016 edition of McEvoy, the 2015 edition of Larkin and the 2019 editions of Matt Wilson, Clyde Lewis and Minna Atherton again would be nice

Mark
Reply to  Jamesabc
1 month ago

Australia won the 2011 4* 100 free WC and were clear favourites going into the London Olympics, with Magnussen and Roberts both well under 48 seconds (Magnussen 47.1, Roberts 47.6). McEvoy and Sullivan were also on the team. However they swum poorly (4th I think in the final) and although Magnussen defended his individual WC in 2013 (and had been .01 away from joint gold in 2012), the Stillnox saga then erupted. Magnussen and Roberts were never the same swimmers afterwards. Although Chalmers won the 2016 individual 100 free, McEvoy had peaked earlier in 2016 (he still holds the AR at 47.04) and the relay team didn’t achieve what it could have achieved with 4 sub 48 swimmers (Magnussen, Roberts,… Read more »

Troyy
Reply to  Mark
1 month ago

I think Roberts benefited from some draft to get that 47.6 at trials.

Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

Had the Olympics happened in 2020 instead of 2021 and had NIGHT FINALS (not morning finals), I firmly believe Dressel would’ve broken the WR in the 100 free. In fact, I believe the morning finals in Tokyo were the primary reason that so many swimmers fell short of their full potential (all those ORs but few WRs). Though it seems that Dressel’s technique has also degenerated since 2019/2020, so maybe Chalmers would’ve been the one to get the WR in Tokyo had there been night finals.

Jason
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

so many if’s and maybe’s. If the Olympics were 3 months later Chalmers would have won (his WR short course was testament to his peak post surgery), and if it was this year, ie now – then no one stops Popovici. How fast can this kid go? Not sure about 45 something, seems insane.

Luigi
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

I am 100% with you. 2019 Dressel was the best we saw in terms of technique and physical shape and his trajectory towards his own personal apex was clear. Covid was a disaster for him as for so many others.

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

Had my grandmother were round, she’d be a wheel.

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

if if if? doesn’t exist

Troyy
1 month ago

Probably he’ll add another four at junior worlds in a few weeks.

BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

SwimSwam talks about “Instagram’s Swimming Stats” in the third person when it’s actually you guys all along. I’m happy to chime in on any swimming related topic but I’m just a little confused by the branding schizophrenia.

John
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

Commitment to not breaking the 4th wall is impressive

KimJongSpoon
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

Swimming Stats was originally an independent Instagram account and later partnered with/got acquired by SwimSwam.

CACrushers
1 month ago

Is he the only one to go sub 47 twice?

Troyy
Reply to  CACrushers
1 month ago

Yes