2021 EUROPEAN JUNIOR SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, July 6th – Sunday, July 11th
- Foro Italico, Rome, Italy
- Heats at 9:30am local (3:30am EST)/Finals at 6pm local (Noon EST)
- LCM (50m)
- Live Results
- Live Stream
- Day 1 Prelims Recap | Day 1 Finals Recap
Romania’s David Popovici turned the swimming community on its axis on Tuesday, breaking the world junior record in the men’s 100 freestyle at just 16 years of age.
Popovici led off Romanian men’s 4×100 free relay on the opening night of finals at the European Junior Championships in Rome in a time of 47.56, putting him under the previous WJR of 47.57 set by Andrei Minakov in 2020.
Popovici finished 2.51 seconds clear of the next-fastest swimmer on the opening leg of the relay, and only two other swimmers that had the advantage of a relay exchange split under 49 seconds.
The Bucharest native, who now ranks fourth in the world for 2020-21, was out in a quick 23.07 but turned in an unbelievable back-half: 24.49.
Watch the race video via Best Swimming on YouTube below:
You can also watch the full 400 free relay on the LEN website here, though you’ll need to make an account (free) with Eurovision OTT.
Popovici followed up this performance by tying what is now his previous best time and Romanian Record of 48.08 in the individual semi-finals, putting him 1.26 seconds clear of the next-fastest competitor heading into Thursday’s final.
Now a bonafide contender in this event at the upcoming Olympic Games, Popovici, who will turn 17 in September, would become the youngest medalist in the 100 freestyle since 1932 if he pulled off a top-three finish in Tokyo.