Popovici Hits Comfortable 1:48.75 200 Freestyle To Open 2022 European Juniors

by Ben Dornan 3

July 05th, 2022 Europe, International, News


  • Tuesday, July 5th – Sunday, July 10th
  • Otopeni Olympic Swimming Complex, Bucharest, Romania
  • LCM (50m)
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    • Prelims: 10 a.m. local / 3 a.m. ET
    • Finals: 5 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET
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The 2022 European Junior Championships have kicked off in Bucharest, Romania. Day 1 prelims featured the men’s 200 freestyle where world junior record-holder David Popovici comfortably swam his way into semi-finals with a 1:48.75 to establish the top seed heading into semi-finals.

That time is of course slower than Popovici’s WJR from the World Championships last month when he swam a 1:43.21 to become the #4 performer in history. We can likely expect a quicker swim from Popovici later on at the meet, considering that he would have known that a slower-than-best swim would have easily gotten him into the next round of racing.

Lorenzo Galossi from Italy and Daniel Meszaros of Hungary were the only other men under 1:50 during prelims, swimming a 1:49.65 and 1:49.81, respectively. Galossi’s time of 1:49.65 was a bit slower than his PB of 1:48.26. Meszaros has also been as fast as a 1:48 before, having swum a 1:48.89 in April 2022.

The field behind that top three was incredibly tight as #4 – #9 each swam between a 1:50.49 and 1:50.97. That 1:50.49 came from Poland’s Jakub Walter, followed by Alessandro Ragaini (ITA) with a 1:50.78, Jarno Baeschnitt (GER) in a 1:50.82, Attila Kovacs (HUN) in a 1:50.86, Karlo Percinic (CRO) with a 1:50.89, and Ignacio Campos Beas (ESP) with a 1:50.97.

On the girls’ side of the 200 freestyle, Nikoletta Padar was the top performer of the session when she swam a 2:01.31, which allowed her to just out-swim Turkisk swimmer Merve Tuncel. Padar won this event at the most recent edition of this meet in 2021 when she delivered a 1:59.38.

Padar’s time here was a bit slower than the 1:57.91 she delivered earlier this year at Hungarian nats. Tuncel has also cracked 2:00 before, having hit a 1:59.70 in 2021, meaning that we could see the field get under that barrier later at this meet.

This morning saw a PB from Spanish swimmer Carla Carron Muina who posted a 2:01.59 to get down from the 2:02.36 she hit in April 2o22, making herself the third seed heading into semi-finals. Israel’s Daria Golovati was next in a 2:01.74, followed by Lili Gyurinovics from Hungary with a 2:01.86. The last swimmer to get under 2:02 was Maya Werner from Germany with a 2:01.91.

Swedish swimmer Lisa Nystrand was the quickest girl in the 400 IM when she popped a 4:49.15, trailing her 2021 PB of 4:47.47 from 2021. Nystrand has already swum two 4:49s this year, both in March, and she placed 8th overall in this event last year at Euro Juniors when she hit a 4:50.04 in the final. She swam faster during prelims in 2021, however, when he hit her 4:47.47 best time.

Giada Alzetta swam a 4:51.03 to claim the second seed heading into the final, trailing her 4:50.05 slightly. German Saskia Blasius was next with a 4:51.44 while Louna Kasvio from Finland hit a 4:51.91. Notably, Justine Delmas of France missed the final when she swam 4:54.98 for 9th, which is roughly 8 seconds slower than her 4:46.27 best time from 2021.

The Polish duo of Krzysztof and Michal Chmielewski topped the field in the 200 butterfly heats, hitting a 1:56.96 and 1:58.43, respectively. This duo pulled off a 1-2 finish in this event at the 2021 European Juniors, in the same order as they finished here, as Krzysztof hit a 1:56.29 and Michal a 1:57.09. Krzysztof recently qualified for semi-finals in this event at the 2022 Word Championships, hitting a 1:55.73 during prelims and then a 1:55.01 for 9th in the second round.

Other top swimmers in the heats of this event were Ramil Valizada from Azerbaijani (1:59.57), Italy’s Andrea Camozzi (1:59.93), and Apostolos Siskos from Greece with a 2:00.03.

Day 1 prelims also featured the girls’ and boys’ 50 breaststroke and butterfly. In the 50 backstroke, Mary-Ambre Moluh was the quickest girl with her swim of 28.20, while Ksawery Masiuk, who won bronze in Budapest, was the fastest boy with his 24.81 here. Eneli Jefimova of Estonia swam a 30.50 to beat the field in the 50 breaststroke, while Koen de Groot did the same on the boys’ side with a 27.84.

Other top seeds heading into the first night of racing will be Italy in the girls’ 4×100 freestyle relay, Romania in the boys’ 4×100 freestyle relay, and Merve Tuncel in the girls’ 1500 freestyle with her 16:23.88. Popovici had a solid split to open Romania’s relay, hitting a 47.76, which is his 6th fastest swim ever.

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4 months ago

I didn’t mention this earlier but jr athletes are also getting very fast and very quickly too. Especially European ones. This 200 was a in general very fast prelims with 3 under 1:50 already.

4 months ago

So excited for tonight. Popovici has a shot at the WR and Romania have a chance of winning the 4×1 – Hoping the atmosphere does the occasion justice.

Encouraging mens backstroke heats for GBR – Big PBs for three of the lads. Finally we have a strong group of junior backstrokers – Lots of work to develop them into the senior ranks.

4 months ago

I’d say he cruised really smoothly for that 47.7 lead off…