USC Trojans Land Romanian Olympic Finalist Robert Glinta

The USC Trojans have wrangled in elite Romanian backstroker Robert Glinta to join up with their program this fall. Glinta holds multiple Romanian national records, and had a career highlight with an 8th place finish in the Olympic final of the 100 back in Rio. He was also the 2015 World Junior champion in the 100 back.

“I’ve set my mind on USC for a while now…. knowing me I really think that I will fit just right in their roster.”

Glinta first got significant international attention for that World Junior title in 2015, a performance that set the tone for his position on the world stage as an elite backstroker. That winter at the European SC Championships, he set the World Jr record in the 100 SCM back (which has been since bettered). Then, at the Rio Olympics, Glinta squeaked into the final of the 100 back, winding up 8th in that race.

Most recently, the 20-year-old broke all three Romanian SCM backstroke records at the 2016 FINA SC World Champs in Windsor. There, he touched 7th in the 100, 8th in the 200, and 11th in the 50 back.


  • 50 LC back – 24.97 (21.95 SCY converted)
  • 100 LC back – 53.34 (46.97 SCY converted)
  • 200 LC back – 1:57.91 (1:44.06 SCY converted)
  • 100 LC free – 49.87 (43.48 SCY converted)

Following the footsteps of Australian youngster Kyle Chalmers, due to unfavorable medical test results that haven’t yet been identified, Glinta will be sitting out Worlds this summer. Despite having to stay out of the pool for a couple of months to rest, Glinta told SwimSwam that he would be joining the Trojans this fall with their class of 2021.

His converted times, considering he’s an Olympic finalist, don’t look to tell the full story here. There’s never a perfect predictor for how foreign athletes will translate into short course yards, but considering Glinta is a two-time SC Worlds finalist, he should be able to put down some strong times for the Trojans. His conversions would’ve placed him 3rd on USC’s 2016-17 top times list in both backstrokes, and they would’ve landed him in B finals in both the 100 and 200 back and the 100 free at 2017 Pac-12s.

He joins Nikita Tretyakov, Justin Nguyen, and Jake Sannem in the Trojan class of 2021.

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6 years ago

Given his LCM and equally impressive SCM times, I have hard time not seeing him going 21.0, 45.0, and 1:39.0 or better

6 years ago

I converted them at 45.2 and 1:40.8. 46.9 and 144.0 is WAY slow

6 years ago

Romania’s pretty close to Russia huh? Foreign? Eastern European? USC? Dave Salo? Fast A….?

6 years ago

Can he challenge Murphy?

JP input is too short
Reply to  Hswimmer
6 years ago

Doesn’t need to, Murphy is done with his eligibility. Can he challenge Shebat? Maybe.

IU Alum
6 years ago

Wow, this is crazy. Normally Olympic finalists don’t don’t leave their countries and current training programs, which makes this even more shocking. Also those conversions are brutal. Probably closer to 21.2, 45.3-45.5, and anywhere from 1:39ish-1:41.0

JP input is too short
6 years ago

Well that’s a big get.

tea rex
6 years ago

Huge pickup.

Karl – are you sure you got the converted times from LC to scy? I know this is a dead horse, but those converted yards times are laughably slow.

Reply to  Karl Ortegon
6 years ago

Karl – let’s take a shot using the Swimulator time converter and seeing what happens…

JP input is too short
Reply to  tea rex
6 years ago

His SCM times convert to 21.3/45.3/1:40.8 which seem much more in line. I think he may have even more than that though – for instance, Glinta’s best SCM 100 back is 50.3, while Ralf Tribuntsov who has been under 45 SCY a few times is 51.1 SCM.

6 years ago

Those backstroke conversions are way too slow.

Reply to  Reid
6 years ago

I used swimming worlds time converter and got 45.60 100 back and 1:42.46 200 back.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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