David Popovici Confirms Attendance at Short Course Worlds; Sets Up Duel With Fellow WR Holder Kyle Chalmers

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David Popovici Confirms Attendance at World Short Course Champs; Duel With Kyle Chalmers On Horizon

At the Romanian Short Course Championships, where he captured gold in the 100-meter freestyle, David Popovici confirmed he will compete next month at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Melbourne. The 18-year-old’s appearance Down Under sets up a meeting between the two world-record holders in the 100 freestyle.

Popovici, of course, is coming off a summer season in which he delivered 16 sub-48 performances in the 100 free. The highlight was a 46.86 world-record clocking at the European Championships in Rome, where Popovici sliced .05 off the previous standard of Brazil’s Cesar Cielo from 2009. His summer campaign also included gold medals in the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle at the World Championships in Budapest.

While Popovici is the long-course standard bearer in the 100 freestyle, Australian Kyle Chalmers holds the short-course mark at 44.84. Chalmers, too, is scheduled to compete at the World Short Course Champs and is coming off a three-stop sweep of the 100 free during World Cup competition in Berlin, Toronto and Indianapolis.

Popovici’s greatest exploits have arrived in the big pool, so it will be interesting to see what he can produce in the 25-meter format in Melbourne. In part, the meet will serve as a learning experience for the teenage phenom. If nothing else, having the sport’s 100 freestyle world-record holders duel in December will be a great way to end the year.

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