“You can’t set a world record in every competition.”
Romanian swimming star David Popovic 먹튀검증 (19) said this after finishing first in the men’s 200 meters freestyle at the Sette Coli Trophy (Rome, Italy) on Saturday. It was his second gold medal after winning the 100-meter freestyle the day before. He signed autographs for a while after the race. There were a lot of children in particular.
There’s a reason why Popovic is so popular with Italian fans. The competition was held at the outdoor pool of the Foro Italico (Stadio Olimpico del Nuotto), a sports complex in Rome. It was also the site of the European Championships last August. Popovic won two titles at the event, setting a world record in the 100-meter freestyle (48.86 seconds) and a world junior record in the 200-meter freestyle (1:42.97).
The Foro Italico is no stranger to Korean fans. The 2009 World Championships were held there, when Park Tae-hwan crashed to a bronze medal a year after his Beijing 2008 Olympic glory (gold in the 400m freestyle and silver in the 200m freestyle). Park was a semifinalist in the 200 freestyle and a preliminaryist in the 400 freestyle and 1500 freestyle.
Sete Colli means seven hills (the geographical center of ancient Rome). Popovic used the Sete Colli Trophy as his last real competition before the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, next month.
However, his performance did not live up to his reputation. His time of 1:45.49 in the 200-meter freestyle was 2.52 seconds slower than his personal best. His world ranking for the 2023 season is sixth. The top ranking in this event is 1:44.61, set by Hwang Sun-woo at the recent Gwangju National Championships. China’s Fan Zhanle, 19, is second in 1:44.65.
“You can’t set a world record in every competition, but I know that you have to be patient because one day that moment will come,” Popovic told local media after the race. “I can’t ignore last year’s achievement, but it’s a long time ago. I want to repeat the good moments, I want to improve, but I’m not in a hurry,” he explained.
The 100m-200m freestyle champion at last year’s World Championships (Budapest, Hungary) also revealed that he will start preparing for the Fukuoka World Championships in earnest. He has been training intensely this year, swimming long distances, but now he plans to reduce his training time while increasing his speed.
Gold medals donated to children battling childhood cancer following World Championships
Popovic donated his 100-meter freestyle gold medal from the Sete Colli to children who have battled childhood cancer. He also donated his 200-meter freestyle gold medal from last year’s World Championships. Popović is an “ambassador of hope” for the #SperanţaNuMoareDeCancer (Hope Doesn’t Die of Cancer) campaign by Romanian private healthcare company MedLife. MedLife melted the medals down and shaped them into small ribbons to give to children who have overcome childhood cancer. MedLife supports programs that analyze the genes of childhood cancer patients to find mutations associated with cancer. Oncologists use the results of these tests to find the best treatment for each individual patient.
In a promotional video, Popovich said, “Children diagnosed with childhood cancer need our support. The fearless courage they show in the fight against this disease is what makes them special,” Popovich said in the video.