2022 EUROPEAN AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Thursday, August 11 – Wednesday, August 17, 2022 (pool swimming)
- Rome, Italy
- Parco Del Foro Italico
- LCM (50m)
- Start Times
- Prelims: 9:00 am local / 3:00 am ET
- Finals: 6:00 pm local / 12:00 pm ET
- Meet Central
- Event Schedule
- Live Results
- Live Stream
- Day 3 Finals Heat Sheet
For thirteen years, Cesar Cielo‘s 100 free world record time of 46.91 from the 2009 World Championships stood untouched. Several swimmers have come close, such as Cameron McEvoy in 2016 (47.04) and Caeleb Dressel in 2019 (46.96), but no swimmer had gone under Cielo’s magical mark.
That was until 17-year-old David Popovici came along, and he ended up being the one to finally put that super-suited record to sleep. In fact, he even broke the world record in the same pool as Cielo—the Parco Del Foro Italico pool in Rome, Italy.
𝑨 𝒉𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒄 𝒎𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒊𝒏 𝑹𝒐𝒎𝒆! 🥇
Time stood still as David Popovici 🇷🇴 broke the World Record in the Men’s 100m Freestyle with a time of 46.86.
Watch #LENRoma2022 live on https://t.co/o9O77EauXC 💻 pic.twitter.com/vakqp89slG
— LEN – European Aquatics (@LENaquatics) August 13, 2022
On Saturday, in the men’s 100 free final at the 2022 European Championships, Popovici threw down a time of 46.86 to lower Cielo’s world record by 0.05 seconds. He wasn’t even leading at the halfway mark of the race, opening in 22.74 and trailing Maxime Grousset with 50 meters left to go. However, he came home in a scintillating 24.12 final 50, and ended up winning by a whopping 0.61 seconds.
That final 50 split is the third-fastest closing split in the history of the 100 free, just behind Popovici’s 24.05 from yesterday’s semifinals and Andrei Minakov’s 24.11 from December 2020.
Fastest Back Half Splits Of All-Time, Men’s 100 Free:
- David Popovici, Romania — 24.05/46.98 (2022)
- Andrei Minakov, Russia — 24.11/48.45 (2020)
- David Popovici, Romania — 24.12/46.86 (2022)
- David Popovici, Romania — 24.19/47.54 (2022)
- Michael Phelps, United States — 24.20/47.51 (2008)
Yesterday, Popovici went 46.98 in the semifinals, which made him then the fourth-fastest performer in the history of the event. He is now the only male to ever go 46-point in the 100 free more than once.
All Time Top Performances, Men’s 100 Free:
- David Popovici, Romania — 46.86 (2022)
- Cesar Cielo, Brazil — 46.91 (2009)
- Alain Bernard, France — 46.94 (2009)
- Caeleb Dressel, United States — 46.96 (2019)
- David Popovici, Romania — 46.98 (2022)
- Caeleb Dressel, United States — 47.02 (2021)
Because Popovici is still a junior, his world record is also a World Junior record, a feat that is very rare amongst male swimmers. Other men who have held world records as juniors include legends like Michael Phelps and Ian Thorpe.
Popovici’s progression in the 100 free has been incredible, as his best time in April 2021 was 49.09. In just over a year, he has dropped over two seconds in the event. It can also be established that he is the best men’s 100 freestyler in the world by far right now, as he holds the top five times in the event for the 2022 season.
Men’s 100 Free Rankings, 2022:
- David Popovici — 46.86
- David Popovici — 46.98
- David Popovici — 47.13
- David Popovici — 47.20
- David Popovici — 47.34
- Kyle Chalmers — 47.36
You can watch the full race video of the World Record here, coutesy of “snake eyes’ on YouTube:
I’ve very roughly translated Cesar Cielo’s congratulatory video to Popovici.… Read more »
Wow… Phelps is only behind DP and Andrey Minakov in back-half list. Where are the 100 free specialists who are well-known for their back-half : Kyle Chalmers, James Magnussen,… ?
Given how the supersuit worldrecords of Cielo and Biedermann have (understandably) been disputed through the years, I think it is only fair to mention that this half-split by Phelps was also with a supersuit
That’s awesome…. Him and Caleb will try to beat each other for at least 4 years to come……
Hello Indonesian legend in breakstroke… 🙂
Breaking a WR is more impressive when it happens at the Olympics or at Worlds — the pressure is at its highest, basically all nations are invited, and having all the heavy hitters generates more waves in the pool.
It’s the European Championships. It’s not a small meet.
I said he would definitely not drop further time in the final but very happy to be wrong! The future is here!
If he manages to break or get close to the 200 record as well then it’s very Regan Smith like (although a little less out of nowhere but still somewhat surprising)
It will only be Regan Smith-like if Popovici then spends the next 3 years unable to set any new PBs, and misses the 2024 Romanian Olympic team in the 100 free by finishing third at trials.
Let me know when he goes 39, last I checked 39<46
Now we know why Dressel fled Budapest
Apex predator was coming to feed. It’s sensible that prey should flee.
No, actually, you don’t
Dressel, is that you?
We need another Chalmers vs Popovici obviously Popovici has a faster time but their racing strategies are so similar both go out in similar speeds and come home like a truck so it would a great race to watch and it’s what Chalmers needs to push him along
The Paris final should be something special!!!!