World Championships, Day Six Men’s Finals: Despite Broken Finger, Hwang Sunwoo Is Golden In 200 Freestyle; David Popovici Earns Silver


A Special Thanks to Deep Blue Media for providing the images from this meet

Deep Blue Media

World Championships, Day Six Men’s Finals: Despite Broken Finger, Hwang Sunwoo Is Golden In 200 Freestyle; David Popovici Earns Silver

Over the next few years, Korea’s Hwang Sunwoo and Romania’s David Popovici figure to offer the sport several enticing showdowns. A peek at what is to come was produced on Sunday night at the World Short Course Championships in Melbourne, where Hwang and Popovici grabbed the gold and silver medals, respectively, in the 200-meter freestyle.

Pressing the pace from the start, the Korean 19-year-old could not be reeled in over the back half of the race and prevailed in 1:39.72, an effort that was both a championship and Asian record.  The time also ranks No. 3 all-time. Popovici, the long-course world champion in the event, got to the wall next, thanks to a mark of 1:40.79. The bronze medal went to Great Britain’s Tom Dean, the reigning Olympic titlist.

Complete Results

A finalist in the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, as was the case with Popovici, Hwang has continued to build his profile and has affirmed himself as a major force on the way to the next Olympiad in Paris. The title for Hwang in Melbourne backed up his gold from last year’s edition of the meet, held in Abu Dhabi.

Second at the 50-meter mark and midway point, Hwang moved in front by the 125 and built on his advantage to leave no doubt about the outcome approaching the wall. Never mind that Hwang was racing with a broken finger, which he suffered during the semifinal round.

“It was a really good result,” Hwang said. “In the semifinals, I broke my finger (at the finish). I am very happy with the race today. It was really, really painful (during the day), but it wasn’t a problem in the race tonight.”

Entering the meet, Popovici spoke about his desire to gather short-course information and use the competition as a learning process. Consider the week a success, as the Romanian 18-year-old set a world junior record in the 100 freestyle and earned a podium place in the 200 free. Best known for his skill in the long-course pool, Popovici will now shift his attention toward the 2023 campaign and the buildup to Paris.

Complete Results

Meet Page



Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x