2022 EUROPEAN AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Thursday, August 11 – Wednesday, August 17, 2022 (pool swimming)
- Rome, Italy
- Parco Del Foro Italico
- LCM (50m)
- Start Times
- Prelims: 9:00 am local / 3:00 am ET
- Finals: 6:00 pm local / 12:00 pm ET
- Meet Central
- Event Schedule
- Live Results
- Live Stream
- Day 2 Finals Live Recap
— Media Sports (@MediaNSport) August 12, 2022
MEN’S 100 FREESTYLE – SEMI-FINALS
- World Record: 46.91, Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 2009 World Championships
European Record: 47.11, Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) – 2021 Olympic Games European Championship Record: 47.20, David Popovici (ROU) – 2022
- 2020 European Champion: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 47.37
- David Popovici (ROU), 46.98 ER
- Kristof Milak (HUN), 47.76
- Alessandro Miressi (ITA), 47.96
- Lorenzo Zazzeri (ITA), 48.05
- Maxime Grousset (FRA), 48.15
- Andrej Barna (SRB), 48.21
- Nandor Nemeth (HUN), 48.22
- Tom Dean (GBR), 48.44
After setting a championship record in the prelims of the men’s 100 free, David Popovici doubled down in the semis. He roared to a 46.98, setting a new European record and becoming the fourth man under 47 seconds.
He came home in a blistering 24.05, which is the fastest back half split of all time in the men’s 100 free by a tenth of a second. Though he put his head down into the wall, he kept his breathing pattern of every other stroke on the second 50 a lot longer than we see the other top 100 freestylers usually do.
Much has been said about the 17-year-old’s physique compared to his competitors. Popovici is not as big as the pure sprinters, which can lead to him getting bounced around in their wave. That slows him down and forces him to expend more energy than he would if he had clean water in front of him. We’ve seen this play out before; at Worlds, Popovici posted his then-world junior record 47.13 in the semis and then added time in the final, winning in 47.56 while sandwiched between Maxime Grousset and Josh Liendo Edwards.
After his race in Rome, Popovici told SwimSwam that he’s been working a lot on his technique, especially on the time he spends with his hands on the surface and letting his body slide through the water. You can see that in action from a clip of his race from the underwater camera. The clip highlights how early he begins his catch and how quickly his hands accelerate through the water.
As for what he had to say about the race itself? “It is OK, it’s a fine route to the final and a step towards the right direction. It feels normal for me to go step-by-step and keep improving my time.”
Only .07 seconds away from the world record, Popovici has a chance to take down Cesar Ciehlo‘s 46.91 in the same pool that it was set in at the 2009 World Championships. Watch that swim below.