Romanian shooting star David Popovici won both the 100m and 200m freestyle at last year’s WC.
Now he was after the world record, leading for a while by a large margin, but crashed in the final stretch to finish fourth.
– It feels terrible, but there’s something to improve, and that means it’s good. “I’m sure there’s a meaning to it and I’ll learn from it,” Popovici says.
Matthew Richards took gold in 1.44.30, two hundredths behind compatriot and Olympic champion Tom Dean.
– I’m absolutely amazed and can’t believe that Great Britain came first and second again, just like at the Olympics, says 20-year-old Richards in an interview in Arena.
At the Olympics, Duncan Scott finished second. For Richards, it was the first individual championship medal.
In the end, David Popovici was one sixth of the gold and almost three seconds off German Paul Biedermann’s 2009 world record.
Whether the Romanian 19-year-old can make a comeback in the 100m freestyle remains to be seen. He doesn’t have to chase a world record there – that’s up to him.
American star Katie Ledecky was absolutely brilliant in the 1,500m freestyle and captured her fifth World Cup title at the distance.
She won in 15.26.27 and 17 seconds ahead of second-placed Simona Cuadarella of Italy.
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