David Popovici Lowers 100 Free World Junior Record To A 47.13, #9 Man In History


David Popovici has swum his third world junior record of the meet at the 2022 World Swimming Championships, hitting a 47.13 in the 100 freestyle semi-final. That’s enough to take out his own previous world junior record of 47.30, which he set at the European Junior Championships in July 2021.

Prior to this swim, Popovici set a new WJR in the 200 freestyle twice, first hitting a 1:44.40 in semi-finals before lowering it again to a 1:43.21 to win gold.

This 47.13 by Popovici is just 0.02 seconds off the European record in the event of 47.11, which Kliment Kolesnikov set at Tokyo 2020. Alain Bernard of France swam faster than that at the 2009 French Championships but it wasn’t ratified as a European record.

Popovici opened quicker on this 100 freestyle than he did in 2021, hitting a 22.81 compared to the 22.97 at European Juniors. He closed just 0.01 seconds faster on the back half.

Splits Comparison

Popovici – 2022 World Championships Popovici – 2021 European Junior Championships
50 freestyle 22.81 22.97
100 freestyle 47.13 (24.32) 47.30 (24.33)

Popovici is inching toward the 100 freestyle world record now, which sits at a 46.91 from Cesar Cielo at the 2009 World Championships. Only 2 other men have swum under 47 seconds in this event in Caeleb Dressel and Alain Bernard. Notably, Bernard’s 46.94 was not ratified as a European record but it was a world record at the time.

David Popovici is now the 9th-fastest man in history in the 100 freestyle, moving up from the 11th-place position he formerly occupied. He surpassed Fred Bousquet and Brent Hayden who are now #10 and #11 with a 47.25 and 47.27, respectively.

All-time Performers In The Men’s 100 Freestyle

  1. Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 46.91 (2009)
  2. Alain Bernard (FRA) – 46.94 (2009)
  3. Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 46.96 (2019)
  4. Cam McEvoy (AUS) – 47.04 (2016)
  5. Eamon Sullivan (AUS) – 47.05 (2008)
  6. Kyle Chalmers (AUS) – 47.08 (2019, 2021)
  7. James Magnussen (AUS) – 47.10 (2012)
  8. Kliment Kolesnikov – 47.11 (2021)
  9. David Popovici – 47.13 (2022)
  10. Fred Bousquet (FRA) – 47.25

Popovici will advance to the final in first place here, ahead of Maxime Grousset of France who hit a 47.54 for second place and Josh Liendo from Canada who swam a 47.55 for third. Notably, top seed heading into this event and #2 performer in the heats Caeleb Dressel pulled out of the semi-final and won’t be in the final.

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Fobby Binke
7 months ago

It’s a shame Dressel scratched.

7 months ago

quick question: is the last “i” in his name silent in the pronunciation? Pop-ov-itch vs Pop-ov-ich-ee?

Reply to  thezwimmer
7 months ago

1st option 🙂

Reply to  thezwimmer
7 months ago

Yes it’s silent.

Reply to  thezwimmer
7 months ago

it is short “i” at the end: Po-po-vici. He is Romanian, not Bulgarian or Russian, so please spell it wright

Roxana roman
Reply to  thezwimmer
7 months ago

Pop-ov-itch is the correct pronunciation

Reply to  thezwimmer
7 months ago

There is a very short audible “i” at the end of his name. That final “i” is used in Romanian to palatalize the previous consonant. However, his name is best pronounced as Popovitch.

SF Swimmer
7 months ago

Wow. That was also a bad finish…he tightened up at the end and if he had lengthened 2 strokes instead of doing three, we might be looking at a world record.

Last edited 7 months ago by SF Swimmer
Reply to  SF Swimmer
7 months ago

I wouldn’t say it’s a “bad” finish. I think he deliberately held back. I am honestly expecting at least a 46 high, possibly WR tonight.

7 months ago

Hard to see him dropping anything less than .3 in the final, which means we’ve got a WR in store.

Reply to  M L
7 months ago

Kid could be under 46.5 by Paris. After filling out, even faster in the 100 (though who knows what that’ll do to his 200). I’d be interested to see him swim a tapered 400 while he’s still skinny like this.

7 months ago

Correct me if I’m wrong but I think this is the fastest semifinal swim ever at the WCs and third fastest ever including the Olympics, after Eamon Sullivan’s 47.05 in Beijing and Kolesnikov’s 47.11 from last year

Last edited 7 months ago by jeff
7 months ago

He may go 46.6-46.8 tomorrow. Holy sh*t!

7 months ago

Popovici, Marchand and Milak are the super stars, not only because of their wins, but also because they are breaking WR (I expect Marchand to lower Lochte’s 1.54 tomorrow). Finke is amazing as well, but not racing near WR times.

Reply to  Maxhardie
7 months ago

Put some respect on my boy Ceccon!

Reply to  Maxhardie
7 months ago

To be fair, ss 800F record is probably the hardest to beat in swimming. But I can definitely see Bobby beating in the future 800F textile record and Sun Yang’s 1500F record.

Last edited 7 months ago by anty75
Reply to  anty75
7 months ago

No one is yet to beat Hackett’s textile 800SCM record from 2001. Even with supersuits, no one except Hackett himself ever beat it.

7 months ago

This guy is a game changer, like it or not

Fobby Binke
Reply to  OLOAP
7 months ago

He’s generational talent. In the same vein of Thorpe and Phelps

Last edited 7 months ago by Fobby Binke
Reply to  Fobby Binke
7 months ago

Perhaps greater. Time will tell