David Popovici And Sarah Sjostrom Among Nominees For 2022 LEN Awards

David Popovici
David Popovici: Photo Courtesy: Simone Castrovillari

David Popovici and Sarah Sjostrom are among the nominees for the 2022 LEN Awards with 54 athletes nominated across 12 categories.

There will be a public vote which will count for 30% of the total voting with LEN members and the technical committee of each discipline making up the other 70%.

Whenever Popovici stands on the block, the excitement of those looking on is palpable – ‘what will he do?’ the question on observers’ lips.

At 17, he became world and European champion in the 100 and 200 free.

The Romanian also took down the 100 free world record with his time of 46.86 slicing 0.05 from the mark of 46.91 that had stood to Cesar Cielo since the 2009 super-suited World Championships held in the very same Foro Italico.

As my colleague John Lohn wrote after he was named Swimming World’s 2022 Male World Swimmer of the Year, “Popovici raced in a different realm……. making that once magical barrier seem like a play toy.”

Popovici was one of several young European men who cut a swathe through international waters, threatening the world order across a number of disciplines.


Thomas Ceccon – Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / deepbluemedia

Thomas Ceccon lowered the 100 back record to 51.60, slicing an almighty 0.25 from Ryan Murphy’s WR of 51.85 which had stood since Rio 2016.

Leon Marchand won the medley double at the Budapest worlds, setting a European record in the 400IM, his time of 4:04.28 the second-fastest in history and eclipsed only by Michael Phelps’ 2008 world mark of 4:03.84.

Kristof Milak lowered his 200 fly WR to 1:50.34 en-route to two world golds while also winning three European titles.

Nicolo Martinenghi was the dominant figure in breaststroke with world gold and silver along with two European titles.

Women’s Nominees

Sjostrom won world titles in Budapest in the 50 free and 50 fly, a feat she repeated weeks later in Rome.

Along with three relay medals, Sjostrom increased her career tally to 28 podium appearances at the Europeans, a total that broke the previous career record of 26 medals by legendary sprinter Alexander Popov of Russia.

Ruta Meilutyte won world and European gold and bronze over 50 and 100 breast and ended the year with the 50br short-course world record of 28.37.

Foto Alfreedo Falcone - LaPresse 16-08-2022 Roma sport nuoto European Acquatics Roma 2022 nella foto.Sara Sjostrom 2022-08-16 Rome Sport swimming European Acquatics Rome 2022 in the photo:Sara Sjostrom

Sarah Sjostrom: Photo Courtesy: Alfreedo Falcone/LaPresse

All that after she only started on the road back to international competition in December 2021 when she competed at the national championships after which she joined the Lithuania training camp in Tenerife.

Meilutyte had retired in May 2019, shortly after it was revealed she’d missed three doping tests in a 12-month period which ultimately led to a two-year suspension dating from July that same year.

There were battles in world and European waters with Benedetta Pilato who won two golds and two silvers across the two meets.

Marrit Steenbergen had a medal-laden year, starting with relay bronze at the worlds in June followed up in Rome with seven European medals of which four were gold.

There were a further four visits to the podium at the short-course worlds including one trip to the top in the 100IM.






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