Faster Than Dressel, 16-Yr-Old Popovici Nails 49.09 100 Free Personal Best


  • Saturday, April 17th – Sunday, April 18th
  • Kiev (UKR)
  • LCM (50m)
  • Results

The Multi-Nations Junior Swimming Meet concluded over the weekend in Ukraine, with teen rising star David Popovici of Romania shining brightly.

First, for 16-year-old Popovici, the ace fired off a new lifetime best in the men’s 100m free, punching the clock in a time of 49.09. Opening in 23.99 and bringing it home in 25.10, Popovici cleared the former meet record en route to topping the podium.

Entering this meet, Popovici’s personal best in the 100m free rested at the 49.26 he registered in October last year in Bucharest.

For perspective, American Caeleb Dressel owns his nation’s age group record for 15-16 year-olds at 49.28, a mark he put up in 2013. With his swim here, then, Popovici is faster than the Olympic medalist and multi-world champion Dressel was at his age.

But Popovici also produced a lifetime best in the 200m free en route to victory. Touching in 1:48.62, the Romanian wrecking ball hacked nearly a full second off his previous career-quickest of 1:49.58, again a time he put up in Belgium just days earlier.

Splits for this longer distance included 53.04/55.58 to give Popovici a time that would rank him as the 3rd fastest American ever in the 15-16 age group.

Popovici concluded his meet with a speedy 22.75 50m free and 2:02.17 200m IM.

On his performances, Popovici told SwimSwam, “I just felt better in Ukraine, just like I usually feel during a meet. I’m now going for that 48.57 A-cut.”

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16 days ago

Mmmmmm Romanian wreaking ball

Wreaking Ball vs Wrecking Ball..isn’t one a Miley Cyrus song and one is machinery?

16 days ago

Slight correction about Popovici previous PB in the 100 free that was the 49.26 swum on early Oct. 2020
Really intriguing his improvements in the 200 free before the taper.

Last edited 16 days ago by nuotofan
Reply to  nuotofan
15 days ago

16 year olds going 49 flats these days damn… I’m really liking his technique, similar to Chalmers.

16 days ago

Huh I thought dressel went 46.96? 49.0 is def not faster????

Reply to  50free
16 days ago

Yeah because Dressel was totally 16 years old when he swum 46.96 in 2019

Chalmers > Dressel
Reply to  CRD
16 days ago

And he was 15 years old when he swam 45.1 at ISL in 2020

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Chalmers > Dressel
16 days ago

lcm obviously

Reply to  50free
16 days ago

Pov: How to get disliked on SwimSwam

Reply to  nice
16 days ago

That’s……why I’m here

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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