David Popovici, 17, broke the world record in the 100m freestyle at the European Championships

The 17-year-old broke the previous record set by Brazilian Cesar Celo in 2009 by 0.05 seconds to win the gold medal, ahead of Hungary’s Christoph Milak and Italy’s Alessandro Merisi.

Popovici, who was crowned world champions in the 100m and 200m freestyle earlier this year, became the youngest world record holder in the 100m freestyle.

“I wanted to go as fast as I could and it looks like I did” He told the BBCHe calls himself a “skinny legend”.

“The imagination now might be 45 (again),” he added. “Adam Petty is a pioneer in terms of the goals he set. For others it was science fiction, but not for him.”

British swimmer Petty set himself the standard by becoming the first man to swim the 100m breaststroke in under 57 seconds during his career – a feat he achieved when he broke his own record in 2019.

The prospect of a new world record in the 100m freestyle looked likely when Popovici broke the 47sec barrier for the first time in the semi-finals on Friday. After the record-breaking swim the next day, Silo congratulated him.

“I knew that day would come…and it happened! He broke the world record in the 100m freestyle 13 years later!” silo Wrote on Twitter.

“Congratulations, Popovici! Glad to have such a huge record for so long!

“There’s the world’s fastest new man in the 100m freestyle and he’s just getting started!”

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