Popovici Takes Down 200 FR World Junior Championship Record in 1:46.18



  • World Record — 1:42:00, Paul Biedermann, GER (2009)
  • World Junior Record — 1:42.97, David Popovici, ROU (2022)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 1:46.40, Ivan Girev, RUS (2017)

Top 8:

  1. David Popovici (ROU) – 1:46.18 (CR)
  2. Daniel Meszaros (HUN) – 1:48.98
  3. Filippo Bertoni (ITA) – 1:49.05
  4. Vitor Sega (BRA) – 1:49.79
  5. Jakub Walter (POL) – 1:49.92
  6. Daniil Pancerevas (LTU) – 1:50.03
  7. Nacho Campos Beas (ESP) – 1:50.18
  8. Batuhan Filiz (TUR) – 1:50.35

David Popovici, the 17-year-old Romanian suddenly turned superstar, dominated the boys 200 free final tonight, taking over from the start and finishing almost three seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Daniel Meszaros. Popovici took off 0.22 from Ivan Girey’s World Junior Championship Record (1:46.40) set in 2017.

After Popovici lead the Romanian 4×100 free relay off in 47.07 last night, it seemed as though he could put up a performance close to what he did at the European Championships a few weeks ago. However, he was over 3 seconds off that time tonight. It will be interesting to see how Popovici fares in the individual 100 free later in the meet.

Although his time was well-off from the world-leading time of 1:42.97 he set at the European Championships in July, Popovici described the race in his post-race interview as: “It was a good enough race, I’m happy with it. It’s all good.” He also credits the crowd for helping him “have fun”, as that was a stated goal of his for this this meet.

Split Comparison:

50 24.6 25.23
100 52.0 (27.40) 52.55 (27.32)
150 1:19.35 (27.35) 1:19.58 (27.03)
200 1:46.18 (26.83) 1:46.40 (26.82)

Popovici and Girev’s splits are very similar, but Popovici got the edge on Girev’s record from his opening speed in the first 50. This is Popovici’s second championship record of the week, with his first being his lead-off in the 4×100 relay last night (47.07).

Behind Popovici, there was a tight race for silver and bronze between Hungary’s Daniel Meszaros and Italy’s Filippo Bertoni. Meszaros managed to hold of Bertoni and Vitor Sega to claim silver, but Bertoni had the second-fastest final 50 split behind Popovici.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 months ago

I wonder if second place thought DP went like a 143 and was hopeful they went a 144, only to look over and see a 146

2 months ago

Not talking about the phenom this time, but about Filippo Bertoni who eneded up third last night.
Kid may not have the most pleasant swim in the field, but he was the youngest among the top 8 the only one with 2006 as DOB against guys being born in 2004. He went 1:49.0 dropping 6 tenths form his previous PB set one month ago. I keep saying Italy probably have a super interesting 4×200 for the upcoming Olympic cycle after Paris. There’s only a problem, but a very big one: if Paris scheduled will be confirmed in 2028, 4×200 will be just minutes later men’s 800 free, with Lorenzo Galossi being a strong medal contender and with his efforts… Read more »

2 months ago

Sounds like he’s tired. I had been wondering how he’s been able to maintain such so many peak level performances over this period of time. That’s highly unusual for any athlete.

Reply to  Swimken
2 months ago

this looked more like a 200 easy at the end of a workout than like a tiring swim tbh

2 months ago

Nice of David to be kind on the competition.

K chilly
2 months ago

Crazy to look at his time and think “oh man that’s a rough swim”. But then consider that it’s still the fastest anyone has swam at world junior champs. Without the context of his other performances this would be an impressive showing for an athlete. Crazy how much ahead of the curve he is.

Reply to  K chilly
2 months ago

Just because the word “WORLD” is in the name of this meet it doesn’t make it more significant. It IS slow. Swimming for Popovichi by more than 3sec at 200m distance behind his personal best IS slow. Most likely there is some reasoning for racing this way. But please look at the things as they are. Yes, he is well ahead of swimmers of his age and that raises a great deal of expectations because statistically it is very unusual for male swimmer to peak at the age of 17. So even greater results are expected from him. But it is even more unusual for the 17 years old boy to be a world record holder. Who knows, maybe his… Read more »

Mr Piano
Reply to  Yozhik
2 months ago

Another great take from Yozhik

Reply to  Yozhik
2 months ago

Whats wrong with you?

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Yozhik
2 months ago

yozhik is broadening his horizons. no longer is he limiting his remarks to females, but now he is including underage boys in his analyses. classy as always

Last edited 2 months ago by Emily Se-Bom Lee