Romanian swimming's shooting star David Popovici said today at his return home from Tokyo that at the Olympics he only wanted to scare a bit his US opponents and show them a "trailer" of his accomplishments in the years to come.
"I just wanted to scare the Americans a little and show them a trailer of what we have in store for the next few years. The thought that everyone is awake to see me gave me a strong motivation, I swam with my mind at all the Romanians who woke up early in the morning to watch me perform in the semis and the finals. That helped me a lot, I pushed very hard. I didn't see much of Tokyo, we were isolated from the outside world. It was beautiful, but tiring as well. I'm glad that I managed to be in my best possible shape and acquire this Olympic experience. I'm pretty sure that I'll return from Paris with a medal, but there are still a lot of competitions until then. Everyone wants something from us, only that we don't have time to fulfill the wishes of others, we only have time to fulfill what we are after and I have delivered past my goal. I met my Tokyo target and even better than that. Now everyone is free to write what they want, but I have surpassed my goals by far and we are both more than satisfied, I and my coach," Popovici declared at the 'Henri Coanda' Airport.
Regarding his future, the young athlete who will turn 17 this September said that he has received many foreign scholarship offers and that he will think about this in the next period: "Scholarship offers from abroad started coming in a long time ago, they have meanwhile multiplied, but I put off all the discussions until after the Olympics, because I needed to focus on my job and not on external factors. I'll enjoy a vacation now and discuss the matter only after that. It's there, on my mind, but I'm not sure what I'll do., Agerpres informs.
His immediate "goal" is to eat some sushi, because the one served in the Olympic Village did not satisfy him: "Besides sleeping and talking a little with friends, I would like to eat some sushi, because ironically I ate better sushi in Romania than what I got in the Olympic Village."
David Popovici was welcomed at the 'Henri Coanda' Airport by colleagues and teachers from the "George Cosbuc" National College, by commander of the Steaua Sports Club, Razvan Bichir, representatives of the Olympic Sports Committee and members of the Subcarpati band.
"I didn't expect such a beautiful reception, especially the Subcarpati lads, I am a fan of theirs. And my colleagues surprised me too, I am happy and thank them very much," Popovici added.
Steaua club commander Razvan Bichir said that after his performance at the 2020 Olympics, Popovici is an asset to the entire country.
"David Popovici belonged to the Steaua club, now he is an asset to Romania and this is a great joy and pride. We are happy that we also contributed to his performance. The medal conquered by fencer Ana Maria Popescu is far more precious than silver or gold. At her age and with the conditions she had, coming after an operation, she proved extraordinary strength, it's awesome," Bichir said.
David Popovici's Tokyo achievements were the fourth place in the men's 200-m freestyle race (2 hundredths of a second short of the bronze medal) and seventh in the men's 100-m freestyle final; Robert Glinta came in eighth in the men's 100 m backstroke event. The other members of Romania's swimming team were Daniel Martin and Bianca Andreea Costea.