SwimmingDavid Popovici Believes 200 Free WR of Biedermann Is Not Untouchable

David Popovici Believes 200 Free WR of Biedermann Is Not Untouchable

David Popovici Believes the 1:42-Flat World Record of Paul Biedermann Is Not Unthinkable

An argument can be made that the world record in the 200-meter freestyle is the most-untouchable on the books. The mark stands at 1:42.00, posted by Germany’s Paul Biedermann during the 2009 World Championships in Rome, a competition that saw more than 40 world records go down as technology in the form of polyurethane suits ruled the day.

Prior to the introduction of the super suits, the world record in the event was held by Michael Phelps, who clocked in at 1:43.86 at the 2007 World Championships. The time by Phelps bumped Australian legend Ian Thorpe and his 1:44.06 from the record book. It was an epic effort by Phelps, who was preparing for his pursuit of eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. It took Phelps from 2003 to 2007 to go from 1:46 to sub-1:44, with Biedermann needing only 11 months to go from 1:46 to 1:42-flat on the strength of the suits.

Since 2010, when the super suits were banned and competition was returned from technology to pure skill, only one man has cracked the 1:44 barrier. Frenchman Yannick Agnel accomplished the feat at the 2012 Olympics in London, as his swim of 1:43.14 landed him the gold medal in dominant fashion.

While there is a long way to go before anyone challenges Biedermann’s world record, at least one athlete believes that standard can be broken. In his recent interview on the Inside With Brett Hawke Podcast, Romanian teenager David Popovici addressed the record, while demonstrating an impressive knowledge of the sport.

The 16-year-old Popovici was fourth in the 200 freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics, his swim of 1:44.68 missing the bronze medal by just .02. Also a rising star in the 100 freestyle, where he has been 47.30, Popovici has a bright future that could include record outings. It would be iconic if he tracked down Biedermann.

“It is very hard. I am not saying that (it’s not),” Popovici said. “I, personally, think it’s the hardest world record out of all the events. Maybe Phelps’ 400 I.M. comes near Biedermann’s 200. I think it’s doable. But, again, we need some time. We need, and I have said it before, and I really like the expression. We need time, patience and passion, and we have them all. Me and my team.”

Popovici’s confidence must be appreciated as he is not limiting himself and is thinking big about the future. His discussion of the 200 freestyle world record can be found at the 50-minute mark of the interview with Hawke, the two-time Australian Olympian whose podcast has generated elite interviews with major names in the sport.

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