David Popovici climbed to the top of the global 100m freestyle rankings for 2023 by claiming the Romanian title in the event, in 47.61 seconds, at the National Championships in Otopeni.
The 18-year-old won the World and European 100m and 200m freestyle gold medals at both senior and junior championships last year.
He also set a new world record in the 100m event at Roma 2022, with a new landmark time of 46.86 secs.
Ahead of Saturday’s race the teenager had already won the 50m freestlye and 50m butterfly titles as well as the 100m backstroke and 400m freestyle events in Romania.
“Any competition we go to, my coach and I aim to be ignorant of limits,” said Popovic after the race. “I’m glad I got the ticket for the Olympic Games.”
His time of 47.61 is within the Olympic ‘A’ standard for the Paris 2024 Games and he will aim to achieve the same in the 200m freestyle on Sunday.