European Junior Championships Day 1: The David Popovici Show


  • Tuesday, July 5th – Sunday, July 10th
  • Otopeni Olympic Swimming Complex, Bucharest, Romania
  • LCM (50m)
  • Start Times
    • Prelims: 10 a.m. local / 3 a.m. ET
    • Finals: 5 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET
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Just ten days after the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships concluded in Budapest, Hungary, this year’s European Junior Championships got underway here in Bucharest, Romania.

Two-time world champion David Popovici of the European Juniors host nation of Romania is among the group of teenaged racers who made the trek from Budapest to Bucharest to continue their elite racing in pursuit of titles and hardware.

Entering these championships, the 17-year-old freestyle ace said, “It’s very symbolic and important event because it’s the first time Romania gets to host this kind of event, it’s the biggest one yet, ever and I can’t wait to be there, I can’t wait to see the people I can’t wait to hear the crowd roar.

“I hope I can win as many events as possible and have as much fun as possible.”

Popovici got his meet started off right, posting a men’s 400m freestyle relay lead-off of 47.76 in the morning followed by an even quicker 47.54 in the evening. The latter helped edge Romania to the top of the relay podium, with Popovici and teammates Vlad-Stefan Stancu (51.11), Stefan Cozma (50.56) and Patrick-Sebastian Dinu (49.72) collectively clocking a time of 3:18.93, beating runners-up Great Britain by just .08.

On how he felt the Romanian squad fared in upgrading its silver from 2021 to gold this time around, Popovici said, “I think this was a great performance from this relay, and it was fantastic to swim in front of so many people in this pool.

“My 47.5 looks nice I think, especially after a 200m free. I’m glad that the boys did their best and we could win at the end.”

Indeed Popovici had raced the boys’ 200m free semi-final earlier in tonight’s session, snagging the 2nd seed in a time of 1:47.93 behind Italian 16-year-old Lorenzo Galossi‘s 1:47.73.

Popovici clocked a super speedy time of 1:43.21 to take the 2free title in Budapest, snagging a new World Junor Record in the process. His semi-final time of 47.13 in the 100m free also nailed a new WJR before the Romanian ultimately struck World Championships gold in 47.58.

The fact that Popovici is already faster than one of his World Championships final times bodes well for the teen who is taking the international swimming scene by storm.

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Ol' Longhorn
6 months ago

I still can’t get over his 200 free at Worlds.

6 months ago

I don’t know if he’ll swim a WR here but he may lower the 100free WJR. I could see him popping off a 47.00-47.10 in a heat.

Last edited 6 months ago by Hank
6 months ago

Is he throwing any other events onto his schedule at this meet? 50? 400?

Reply to  R&R
6 months ago

50 free plus 3 relays (4×100 free, 4×100 free mixed and 4×200 free)

Reply to  nuotofan
6 months ago

No medley relays?

Last edited 6 months ago by Rafael
Reply to  R&R
6 months ago

Yes! 50!

About Retta Race

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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