Romania’s rising star David Popovici has been named world male swimmer of the year by premier magazine Swimming World Magazine.
The 18-year old Romanian is the first Romanian swimmer to ever receive the title in its 58-year history.
He is the current 100-mters world holder and the junior world record holder in the 200-metre freestyle.
At the 2022 World Aquatics Championships he won gold medals in his two signature events becoming the first swimmer to do so at the same edition of the World Championships, since Jim Montgomery in 1973.
Popovici featured on the cover of the Swimming World December 2022 magazine, alongside female swimmer of the year Ariarne Titmus.
Every year, since 1964, the magazine names a male and female swimmer of the year.
“Swimming World Magazine, the most prestigious publication in the world dedicated to swimming, named David Popovici the best swimmer of 2022. It is the first time in history that a Romanian swimmer has received this nomination,” CS Dinamo Bucuresti said. Popovici is a member of the club.
“David (CS Dinamo) thus enters a select list of big names,” the club added.
American Caeleb Dressel won the 2021 title.
The magazine hasn’t yet reported the news, but this is what it wrote about the young star on Sept. 18:
The Difference Between David Popovici and Other Sprint Greats? All On Back Half
Over the summer, Romanian teenager David Popovici broke a record so many sprint greats fell just short of. Cesar Cielo was the standard-bearer in the 100 freestyle for 13 years, and in the period of time after polyurethane suits were banned at the end of 2009, five swimmers came within two tenths of Cielo’s record but could never get over the top.
The list of swimmers who came oh-so-close included Caeleb Dressel, the American who won world titles in the 100 free in 2017 and 2019 before winning gold in an exceptionally tight Olympic final last year, along with Australians Cameron McEvoy, Kyle Chalmers and James Magnussen and Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov. When Cielo swam the 46.91, he was out in 22.17 and back in 24.74. Matching the Brazilian’s early speed has proven to be nearly impossible for anyone else in the world, so here’s how the challengers performed in the many close calls.