David Popovici Wins 50 Free In 22.27 At Romanian Championships; Posts 1:47 In 200 Prelims

David Popovici of Romania reacts after competing in the 100m Freestyle Men Heats during the 20th World Aquatics Championships at the Marine Messe Hall A in Fukuoka (Japan), July 26th, 2023.
David Popovici: Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

David Popovici Goes 22.27 For 50 Free Title At Romanian Championships; Posts 1:47 In 200 Prelims

David Popovici went 22.27 to win the 50 free on the opening night of the Romanian National Championships in Otopeni before returning the following morning to go 1:47 in the 200 prelims.

Robert Andrei Badea set a national 200IM record of 2:00.15, the 16-year-old taking 1.43secs off Cezar Bădiţă’s standard of 2:01.58 from the 2003 World Championships, more than four years before Badea was born.

The five-day event doubles as the Olympic trials with Popovici having already booked his ticket to Paris in the 100 and 200 free where he’ll compete in his second Games following his debut in Tokyo.

The time ranks as the fourth-best of the 19-year-old’s career topped by his 22.16 at the 2022 European Junior Championships, shortly after he became double world champion in Budapest and weeks before he replicated that at the Europeans in Rome, setting a then world record of 46.86 in the 100 free, since eclipsed by Pan Zhanle’s 46.80 blast at the 2024 worlds in Doha.

It’s the seventh-fastest swim by a Romanian with Norbert Trandafir’s 21.98 national record still standing after almost 11 years.

George Adrian Ratiu took second in 22.43 with Patrick Sebastian Dinu next home in 22.76.

Elsewhere on day one, world and European junior medallist Vlad Stancu won the 800 in 8:05.34 and Denis Laurean Popescu took the men’s back in 53.97.

Rebecca Aimee Diaconescu won the women’s 50 free in 25.57.

Popovici returned to the Otopeni Swimming Sports Complex on Thursday morning for the 200 prelims where he posted 1:47.41.

Nandor Nagy was second through, 4.86secs behind in 1:52.27 followed by Stefan Cozma in 1:52.47.

Popovici splits: 25.21/52.77 (27.56)/1:20.22 (27.45)/1:47.41 (27.19)




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