Already at the age of 17, Romanian David Popovic can call himself the best swimmer on the planet. 100m and 200m freestyle brand new world champions break records one after another. secret? Almost perfect body, mature calm mind, Antwerp swimming pool.

Swim with a prescription

2008. Father and mother Popovich are at the end of their wisdom. Their 4-year-old child, David, is restless, sleepless, and has back problems. Doctors discover the early stages of scoliosis. Scoliosis is a common spinal disorder in children.

Treatment: Swimming. It is effective against scoliosis and is suitable for tired children who are prone to boredom, so it does not wake up at night and lie down.

It soon becomes clear that he moves in an unparalleled way in the water.

The youngest record breaker

2014. The 10-year-old David Popovich broke the 24-year-old national record for the first time in a 50-meter backstroke. Many first ones.

Four years later, he became the fastest U15 swimmer in European youth games. In 100 meters freestyle, he dives for the first time in less than 50 seconds.

To date, Popovich has broken more than 30 records. At the last World Championships in Budapest, he won the gold in the 200m freestyle (1’43 “21) in the fourth fastest time in history.

The second gold came in the number of kings (100m freestyle) two days later. In the heat he again broke the junior world record: 47 “13. He is only 22 hundredths of a second from the Brazilian Cesar Cielo world record.

Gift from Mother Nature

Autumn 2019. David Popovici’s aides contact Belgian sports scientist Stijn Corten. “Since 2015, there is a new Olympic pool in Antwerp with movement cameras underwater,” Corten explains to Sporza.

“There are many foreign swimmers, including Popovich, who come here twice a year to hone his skills.”

He Nature freak In a healthy form: slender and slender, with large limbs and nimble arms. He takes advantage of all the qualities of a modern swimmer.

“I immediately noticed his wonderful body. He was slender and slender, his limbs were big, and his arms were light. He Nature freak In a healthy way. He checks all the boxes needed by the best modern swimmers. “

Popovich is 1.90 meters tall, weighs 80 kilograms, and has wingspans of 2 meters and over 5 centimeters.

Mature warm spirit

Having the right body is one thing, but the rest must be done as well. And that’s the case with Popovich. “I was impressed with his motivation, mature spirit, and warm personality,” says Corten.

“He is very intelligent, does not behave like a star in the world, talks to other top athletes and does not require work if he wants to continue training. And he is a training animal and our pool I will run for miles. “

I am an ordinary boy who can swim fast.

This is also clear from his interview after his world title he was asked: You are a phenomenon, what is your secret? “My passion and effort. I am an ordinary boy who can swim fast.”

Parents to support in a healthy way

He owes his strong personality to his upbringing. Mihai and Jorgeta Popovic support his son, both thick and thin. “In a non-performance-oriented way,” Corten reveals.

His parents are told that it’s best to eat two hours before training, so he wakes up with breakfast in bed at 4:30 am every day. Then they put him to sleep.

They approached the swimming pool in Bucharest, especially for him. They paid for every trip to the swimming competition. His father called hundreds to find a sponsor. His mother took an anti-doping course, so she was able to reaffirm his pills and supplements.

When he announced that he wanted to participate in the Olympics at the age of eight, his parents immediately printed a T-shirt with “Tokyo 2020” on it. They were the first games he was allowed to participate in according to his age.

But they never judged him in performance. After each meeting, no matter what the outcome he swam, he liked cakes, so they went to IKEA to eat. At home, they don’t talk about swimming, results, and time. “It’s something between the coach and my son,” Popovich explains to the Romanian press.

The most important thing for father and mother Popovic is how his son feels and whether he enjoys it.And whether he’s having fun: Popovich calls himself on Instagram Chlorine daddy, Father of chlorine. He really feels like an underwater fish.

Glittering chemistry with youth coaches

The foundation was laid by his parents, but his coach is also commendable. Adrian Laduresk, dubbed “Mister Adi” by Popovic, is 32 years old and has been a coach since the age of 9.

“Mr. Adi” quickly understood the young swimming phenomenon. “Popovich was the kind of kid you had to explain things. You couldn’t get him to swim 10 laps because you had to. You explain why training is important. I had to do it. “

The interaction between the two is almost magical. “Mr. Addy” knows how to inspire David in a good way and at the same time protect him from media hype.

Giorgeta Popovic confirms the good relationship between Laduresk and her son.

Stijn Corten also pays great respect to the bond between Popovich and his coach. Protect David from the resulting media hype. “

“Everyone has wanted to hear Popovich since the Olympics. His coach can assemble it and teach him to deal with David well. At the same time, with both feet on the ground as an incentive for success. This is to keep it attached. “

WR & Olympic Gold?

future. It’s always hard to predict. However, it seems only a matter of time before Cielo’s world record goes down. “There is still a margin,” explains Corten.

“His start and turn are still work points. We do everything we can to make him move as much as possible underwater. He has his own impressive perception underwater. Ask him to move his little finger 1 cm and he will make it 0.9 mm. “

“At the moment, he’s a 200-meter swimmer. If you want to break the record at 100 meters, every piece of the puzzle must fit, but that’s certainly possible.”

Therefore, the balance must be appropriate. Training, fitness, retraining, studying (I want to study psychology later), spending time with my girlfriend and meeting friends very occasionally.

The real goal is the Olympics. Popovic wants to award Romania a medal, starting in Paris 2024. Only one swimmer has done this so far. 2028 and 2032 are also at the top of the wish list.

One thing is certain: there is a new protagonist in the international swimming scene. And what …


Source: Sporza

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