Home Sports Popovici and Merchant Gear Up for European Championship

Popovici and Merchant Gear Up for European Championship

Popovici scares in the European Championship on the verge of the Games and Merchant does not fail in France

David Popovici, the 19-year-old Romanian swimmer, has reaffirmed himself as a top contender for the Olympic gold in Paris, winning the 200-meter freestyle event at the European Championships in Belgrade with a time of 1:43.13 minutes, the fifth best time of all time.

This marked the second consecutive strong performance from Popovici, who on Wednesday won the 100-meter freestyle with an impressive time of 46.88 seconds, the third best time in history. This recent success has cemented Popovici’s status as the favourite to win the Olympic event, despite being more than two and a half seconds ahead of the current world distance runner-up, Lithuanian Danas Rapsys.

In the final, Popovici set a scorching pace in the first 100 meters, clocking 50.08 seconds, just four hundredths of a second slower than German Paul Biedermann’s legendary world record set in 2009. Though he couldn’t maintain the same blistering pace in the second half of the event, Popovici’s outstanding performance has propelled him to the top spot in the world rankings for the year, leading the German Lukas Martens by a significant margin.

Milak’s Form Questions

In a departure from his usual dominance, Hungarian swimmer Kristof Milak struggled to regain his top form at the European Championships, finishing third in the semifinals of the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:54.64. This marks a rare off-day for the Hungarian world record holder, who was defeated by Poland’s Krzysztof Chmielewski and his twin brother Michal.

Greek Christou Retains 50 Backstroke Crown

Greek swimmer Apostolos Christou reinforced his title as continental champion of the 50 backstroke, winning the event with a time of 24.39 seconds and revalidating his 2019 title.

Christou’s victory added another gold to Greece’s medal count at the European Championships, bringing the country’s tally to 11 medals – 3 golds, 4 silvers, and 4 bronzes.

Greece Falls Short of Hungary in the Medal Table

The addition of Christou’s gold to Hungary’s medal count allowed the Magyar team to extend their lead at the European Championships, with a total of 19 medals – 5 gold, 7 silver, and 7 bronze, compared to Greece’s 11.

French Swimmers Shine

Romanian swimmer Vivien Jackl and 15-year-old prodigy impressed at the European Championships, taking part in the mixed 4×100-meter freestyle relay and the 1500 freestyle event, respectively. Jackl dominated the 1500 freestyle event to win the gold, while his participation in the relay team, composed of Hubert Kos, Szebasztian Szabo, Panna Ugrai, and Nikolett Padar, helped Hungary secure another podium finish.

León Marchand Qualifies for Olympics

François Marchand fulfilled predictions by winning the 200 style event at the French Championships, with a record-breaking time of 1:56.33 minutes. This performance sealed Marchand’s fourth ticket to the Paris Olympics.

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