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Romania at the Olympic Games

Romania's latest great canoe sprinter Florin Popescu

Canoe sprinter Florin Popescu - photo: cosr
Canoe sprinter Florin Popescu - photo: cosr

, 15.04.2024, 13:45

The Romanian kayak-canoe school is one of the world’s strongest schools. Along the years its athletes have obtained 10 Olympic victories, out of which, eight have been won by the canoe sprinters. Names like Leon Rotman or Ivan Patzaichin have made history in this sports discipline.

The latest great champion of the Romanian canoe sprinting is Florin Popescu. Together with his teammate Mitica Pricop, he managed to reap gold in the C-2 1,000 race at the Olympic Games in Sydney after a break of 16 years. As a coincidence, the last Olympic title in canoe sprinting had been obtained also in a C-2 1,000 race by Ivan Patzaichin and Toma Simionov in Los Angeles in 1984.

Florin Popsecu was born on August 30, 1974 in Iancu Jianu, Olt county, southern Romania. He compelled international recognition together Mitica Pricop as early as 1999 at the European Championships in Zagreb, where the two became gold medalists in the 500 meter race and bronze in the 1000 meter contest. After Sydney, in 2001, at the European Championships in Milan, the two canoe sprinters won gold in both the 500 and 1000 meter races.

In 2002, Pricop was replaced in the boat by Silviu Simiocencu and with the new teammate, Florin Popescu again topped the rankings in 2002 and 2003, when he also reaped the world title in the 1000 meters.

Unfortunately in Athens in 2004, Popescu and Simiocencu failed to step onto the podium by small margins coming fourth both in the 500 meter and 1000 meter races.

Popescu withdrew from competitions after Athens but came back for a short time to be part of Romania’s four, who emerged as gold medalist in the 1000 meter race at the European Championship in Poznan, which was also the last notable performance obtained by this famous canoe sprinter.

(bill)

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