2021 LEN EUROPEAN SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, November 2nd – Sunday, November 7th
- Aquatics Palace, Kazan Russia
- SCM (25m)
17-year-old David Popovici just earned the first elite senior international title of his career, taking the men’s 200m freestyle tonight in Kazan at these European Short Course Championships. Hitting the wall in a time of 1:42.12, Popovici logged a new personal best as well as a new Romanian national record to stand atop the podium.
Kroon, who already took 400m free gold earlier in this meet, punched a time of 1:42.20 to Pijnenburg’s 1:42.51, with the trio of medalists all separated by less than half a second.
For Popovici, the teen opened in 50.06 and closed in 52.06 to get the job done tonight, overtaking his previous personal best of 1:43.08 he produced in the semi-final of this event. That result in itself overtook his previs PB of 1:43.56 he put up just a week ago at the FINA World Cup Series stop in this same city. As such, the Romanian has hacked well over a second off this race in a matter of days.
While Popovici’s time was a solid effort, he still has some work to do if he wants to challenge Matt Sates‘ fresh 200 freestyle world junior record which sits at a 1:40.65 from just a few weeks ago in Berlin.
Later on in tonight’s session, Popovici also posted a time of 47.21 to check in as the 2nd reservist for tomorrow night’s 100m free final.
Popovici holds both the 100 and 200 freestyle Romanian records in the short course and long course versions of the events. He set the long course records of 47.30 (also a world junior record) at European Junior Championships and of 1:44.68 at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year. His 100 freestyle short course record is a 46.77 from the Kazan World Cup meet.