David Popovici Relishing The Prospect Of Racing Kliment Kolesnikov At European SC

David Popovici European Jnrs
David Popovici: Photo Courtesy: deepbluemedia

The 21st edition of the European Short-Course Swimming Championships gets under way in Kazan, Russia, on Tuesday with the event running from 2-7 November.

The first continental showcase was held in Rostock, Germany, in 1996 and 25 years on, the event will be held over six days for the first time.

Same-day semis and finals in the 50m events have been axed while the men’s 800 and women’s 1500 free have been added to the pr0gramme as more than 400 athletes representing 40 nations contest 42 titles in the 25m pool at the Aquatic Palace.

The prize money has also been increased from 220,000 Euros (255,000 US dollars) to 300,000 (350,000 US dollars) to reward the top 15 individual performers among both the men and women with world and European record bonuses also up for grabs.

Jul 27, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Kliment Kolesnikov (ROC) reacts after placing second in the men's 100m backstroke final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro/USA Today Sports

This marks a change from the last 10 years where 220,000 euros was distributed among the top 12 performers.

In Kazan, the top 15 individual performances (one per athlete, based on FINA points) will be rewarded with the best male and female swimmer getting 25,000 euros.

David Popovici of Romania is set to take to the water after a maiden Olympics in Tokyo where he set a WJR en-route to finishing fourth in the 200 free as well as coming seventh over 100 free.

The 17-year-old said at a press conference:

“The Olympic year has been very challenging, I also had a longer break of three weeks but I’m back and these Europeans offer me a chance to have some fun racing against some of the bests in the world.”

So too is he looking forward to locking horns with Kliment Kolesnikov, who won silver and bronze in Japan.

“Kliment is one of those swimmers whom you immediately recognise what he wants to achieve in this sport and also that he knows perfectly how to achieve that.

“It is an honour to compete against him, also an honour to lose to him and an even bigger honour to beat him.”

QUADARELLA Simona ITA 800 Freestyle Women Final Swimming Budapest - Hungary 18/5/2021 Duna Arena XXXV LEN European Aquatic Championships Photo Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Simona Quadarella won the 400-800-1500 free treble at the long-course European Championships in Budapest earlier this year before the Italian then went on to claim 800 free bronze in Tokyo.

Quadarella won the 400/800 double at the equivalent event in Glasgow in December 2019 and she said:

“For the first time since I was 13, I had a long break after the Games, a full month, so I just restarted my practices in September.

“I work really hard as we have a lot of events, Europeans and Worlds first in short-course, then in long-course.

“Because of this, I don’t have any great expectations here, just wish to do my best.”