Popovici Strikes Again With Narrow 200 Freestyle Romanian Record – 1:43.43


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During the 2021 European Short Course Championships 20o freestyle prelims, David Popovici threw down a 1:43.43, which was a new best time and Romanian record. The swim improved upon his own mark in the event of 1:43.58 from just a few days prior at the Kazan World Cup meet.

Popovici started things off slower this time around than he did during his prior record-breaking swim, splitting a 50.87 instead of a 50.47. He was clearly in control, however, as he managed to come back roughly half a second faster on the last 100 by splitting a 2g.56 and 26.00 to close things out.

Popovici – 2021 European Champs Popovici – 2021 World Cup
50 24.36 23.97
100 50.87 (26.51) 50.47 (26.50)
150 1:17.43 (26.56) 1:17.21 (26.74)
200 1:43.43 (26.00) 1:43.58 (26.37)

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.

While Popovici’s time was a solid effort, the 17-year-old 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.

The men’s 200 freestyle is shaping up to be an incredibly competitive battle, one in which Popovici currently ranks 7th overall. His 1:43.43 was just 0.01 seconds slower than Aleksandr Shchegolev (who was eliminated from moving forward because 2 Russian men were faster than him). Popovici will easily advance to the next round of racing but will likely need to get a little quicker in order to reach the final.

In addition to the subsequent round of the 200 freestyle that he will race, Popovici will also swim the 100 freestyle at Short Course Euros. While he’s entered with his long course time of 47.30 for 20th place, his recent PB of 46.77 would be good enough for 11th overall in the psych sheets.

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