European Championships – Day 7 Prelims: David Popovici Withdraws From 400 Free Final; Simona Quadarella Eyes Treble-Treble

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David Popovici: Photo Courtesy: deepbluemedia

European Championships – Day 7 Prelims: David Popovici Withdraws From 400 Free Final; Simona Quadarella Eyes Treble-Treble

David Popovici will not compete in the 400 free final despite progressing fourth to set up what appeared to be a tilt at the 100-200-400 free treble at the European Championships in Rome.

The 17-year-old posted 3:47.99 in the opening heat following his 100-200 free double in which he set the world record and a textile world mark respectively.

It appeared to set up a fascinating tussle with the 100-200-400 treble having never yet been achieved at the Europeans.

That feat will live to fight another day with his absence from the start sheet a real disappointment.

Simona Quadarella is going for the treble-treble of 400-800-1500 after winning the two longer distances at the Foro Italico although Isobel Gose looked very strong in qualifying.

Sweden and Italy led the way in the women’s and men’s medley relays respectively.

Women’s 400m freestyle

Quadarella set the pace in the fourth prelim in 4:08.80 but it was Isobel Gose who booked lane four in 4:06.10 in the final heat.

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Men’s 400 freestyle

All eyes were on the first heat with Popovici who has swum the event so seldom there was no entry time for him.

No matter. The Romanian split 53.72/1:51.59/2:50.40/3:47.99 to set the tone for the remaining four heats.

German pair Henning Muehlleitner (3:46.79) and Lukas Maertens (3:47.38) booked the centre lanes with Antonio Djakovic of Switzerland next through in 3:47.67.

Popovici was fourth into the final ahead of fellow teenager Lorenzo Galossi – the 16-year-old clocking 3:48.15 to lead three Italians who were separated by just 0.23secs.

Gabriele Detti, the Rio 2016 bronze medallist, took the second spot under the two-per-nation rule with Marco de Tullio locked out by one place and 0.06.

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Women’s 4x100m medley relay

Sweden were the only quartet inside 4mins as they booked lane four in 3:59.19, anchored by Sarah Sjostrom, the most decorated medallist in European history with 27 trips to the podium.

Italy were second in 4:00.58 – and that with the likes of Benedetta Pilato to slot in – with the Netherlands third and Marrit Steenbergen to come in search of her seventh medal of the meet.

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Men’s 4×100 medley relay

The final prelim of the meet was headed by Italy, who matched Britain’s continental record en-route to the world title in Budapest in June.

The Italian quartet clocked 3:34.35 ahead of Austria (3:34.82) and Britain (3:35.45).

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