2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- June 18-25, 2022 (pool swimming)
- Budapest, Hungary
- Duna Arena
- LCM (50-meter format)
- Full Aquatics Schedule
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- Psych Sheets
- Meet Central
- Live Results
- Day 5 Finals Heat Sheets
David Popovici is the real deal.
Though that seemed pretty clear after Popovici’s victory in the 200 freestyle earlier this week, the Romanian teenager furthered that narrative when he won gold in the men’s 100 freestyle.
After throwing down a World Junior Record of 47.17, Popovici entered the final as the heavy favorite, especially with the absence of defending World and Olympic Champion Caeleb Dressel. Despite being slightly slower than his record, Popovici managed to hold off a charging field to finish first in a time of 47.58, claiming his second gold medal of these Championships.
With his performance, Popovici became just the second person to win both the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle at the same edition of the Long Course World Championships. When was the last time it was done? 1973, the first edition of the World Championships. At that meet, Jim Montgomery won both events for the United States. Montgomery went on to win gold medals at the 1976 Olympic Games, putting Popovici in good company.
At only 17-year-old, Popovici still has plenty of time to improve upon the results he’s thrown down here, especially with the 2024 Olympic Games looming ahead. Even in a field with Caeleb Dressel, Popovici has shown that he can hold his own and run with the big dogs.
A Big Day for France
In that 100 freestyle final, France also managed to get a swimmer on the podium as Maxime Grousset charged home to claim the silver medal behind Popovici in a time of 47.64. The swim marks a huge sigh of relief for a country that has been lacking in sprint prowess the past few years, despite traditionally developing some of the top sprinters in the world. From 2009 to 2017, France saw at least 1 swimmer make the podium in either the 50 or 100 freestyle at the World Championships or Olympic Games. However, the nation failed to produce podium finishes in either event at the 2019 World Championships, causing some concerns that the French sprinting powerhouse was dwindling. With Grousset’s podium finish, those worries appear to be quelled, at least for now.
- France also earned medals from Analia Pigree and Leon Marchand on day 5. Pigree set a new national record of 27.40 en route to a bronze medal performance in the 50 backstroke, while Marchand dominated the men’s 200 IM and set a new national record of 1:55.22 to win gold. With his swim, Marchand won his second gold medal of the competition.
- Even with Arno Kamminga’s scratch, Europe still has half of the final (4/8) in the men’s 200 breaststroke. Europeans also make-up half of the final in the women’s 200 breaststroke, led by Lithuanian Kotryna Teterevkova, who finished 3rd out of semis.
- Great Britain’s Brodie Williams (1:56.17) and Luke Greenbank (1:56.42) qualified 2nd and 3rd, respectively, for the men’s 200 backstroke final, setting the nation up for several potential medalists.
- During the prelims session, of the women’s 100 freestyle, Kalia Antoniou broke the Cypriot record in the event, swimming a time of 54.25. She lowered that by .01 in the semi-finals to 54.24 to finish 13th overall.
- As previously mentioned, Leon Marchand set a new French National Record in the 200 IM with his time of 1:55.22, taking down his own record from the semi-finals.
European Medal Table Through Day 5: