Popovici writes ‘a small page in the history of swimming’ Fox News

By winning the 100m freestyle at the Budapest Worlds on Wednesday, Romanian David Popovici became the first man to achieve the 100-200 double since 1973. He said he was “happy” to have written “a little page of the history of swimming».

In the absence of the reigning double world champion, the American Caeleb Dressel, who withdrew for the rest of the competition for medical reasons, the Romanian was just ahead of the French Maxime Grousset and the Canadian Joshua Liendo.

At only 17, he became the first man to achieve the 100-200 freestyle double in the Worlds since American Jim Montgomery in 1973. Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband also did it during the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

“I’m happy that we wrote a little page in the history of swimming,” said Popovici. “Some would say a huge page, but we like to keep it low key.”

Popovici had already caused a sensation on Monday by being crowned in the 200m freestyle, becoming with a time of 1 min 43 sec 21/100 the fourth fastest man in history over the distance.

“Now I can rest a bit,” he said. “I feel good, I’m happy to have obtained two gold medals, I think it will be quite heavy to carry them.”

Asked about the absence of Dressel, the reigning double world champion, he wished him to “come back stronger”. Would the American have been afraid to face Popovici in a duel? “I don’t think so,” he said. “He’s too big a boy to run away from someone like me or frankly anyone, but I hope he’s okay.”

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