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David Popovici: I wanted to make my country proud, rise to the public's expectations

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
Inquam David Popovici

Up-and-coming swimming star David Popovici on Wednesday successfully defended his European junior title in the men's 200m freestyle, bringing the second gold medal to the Romanian delegation after the one in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay.

''I felt great, it was an electrifying, never-seen-before atmosphere thanks to the fans in the stands. it was a much more vibrant atmosphere than in Budapest. I looked in the stands during the race, I enjoyed the waving flags, saw hands thrown in the air, people jumping, screaming, I liked it. In Budapest my goal was to slash time and surpass myself, here I wanted to enjoy the stands and the fans as much as possible and to bring another gold to our delegation. Such an audience is something new even for me and I thought it was awesome. I got the goosebumps, I somewhat felt like crying when my turn came, tears just came up on their own. I knew I would win, I trained for this and I was looking forward to living this moment. I came to make my country proud, to rise to the expectations of the spectators and simply enjoy the atmosphere. Let there be as many gold medals as possible, as many medals for us, that's what our victory means,'' said David Popovici ('Dinamo' Sports Club) after winning the 200m freestyle event at the European Junior Swimming & Diving Championships, where he clocked in at 1:45.95. Popovici also holds the current 200m freestyle world junior record of 1:43.21, set in the semifinals of the 2022 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.



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