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.
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?