The town of Otopeni, located north of
Bucharest, is these days the capital city of European swimming. Europe's best
junior swimmers fight for the Championships medals, in a competition Romania
plays host to, as an absolute first. The competition is hosted by a brand-new
sports compound, with an Olympic swimming pool, another one for diving and four
other swimming pools for recovery and warming up. The overall costs for the new
compound stood at 30 million euro. Hosting its first ever top-flight sports
competition, the Otopeni Olympic Compound has a 2, 800 seating capacity.
The new star of Romanian swimming, David Popovici,
was undoubtedly the top performer of the first competition days. We recall that
in June this year in Budapest, David won the 100m and 200m world titles. In the
first three days of the competition in Otiopneo, David stepped onto a step of
the podium three times. On Tuesday, David Popovici won the 4X100m freestyle
event (the 100m relay event). Other members of Romania's relay team were Vlad Stancu,
Ştefan Cozma and Patrick Sebastian Dinu. Second came Great Britain, while
3rd-placed was the team of Italy.
On Wednesday, David
Popovici won the 200m freestyle event. David thus defended the title he won
last year at the European Junior Championships in Rome. Also stepping onto a step
of the podium was Italy's Roberto Galossi and Jacob
Whittle of Great Britain. David Popovici is also a world record holder in the
juniors' version of the 200m freestyle event. On June 20, at the World Seniors'
championships in Budapest, David clocked 1 minute, 34 seconds and 21 hundredths
of a second.
Also on Wednesday, at the mixed 4x100m
relay event, Romania came in second. Although they qualified for the sixth best
timing, the Romanians succeeded a well above-par race. Romania dominated the
first three legs of the relay race, but for the last hundred meters Hungary
took the lead and maintained it, winning the relay. Stepping onto a step of the
podium were David Popovici, Patrick Dinu, Bianca Costea and Rebecca Diaconescu.
The competition is ongoing until this coming Sunday.