Romanian 17-year-old swimming sensation David Popovici, speaking on national television channel TVR 1 after winning his second world title at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, said that he hopes his performance has made all Romanians proud.
Popovici on Wednesday won the gold medal in the men’s 100m freestyle event of the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, dashing off a time of 47.58 seconds. He is just the second swimmer in history to win gold in the 100 and 200m freestyle events at the same World Championships, after American Jim Montgomery, who did so in 1973 in Belgrade.
“I was glad it was over and that I managed to finish this competition in style. What I can say is that I am glad that the world watched me and that the event was broadcast on TV for millions of Romanians to see and – I hope this isn’t an overstatement – to support me. I hope I have made everybody proud. I hope you were happy for me, just as I was happy. I have a busy summer ahead, a full competition season, but I’m looking forward to it. What’s next in the very near future is a little break and some down time to reflect on what just happened,” said the young athlete of the Bucharest Dinamo Sports Club.
He added that he didn’t do any special training for this edition of the World Championships.
“I didn’t do any extraordinarily intense training for this competition. This makes me even more optimistic about what might happen in the near future. But I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t in a good competitive shape. I just didn’t know it, and I think it’s good that I can still surprise myself. I’m a just a fast-swimming kid, an ordinary guy capable of extraordinary things and of inspiring people. Who has extraordinary people behind him. Swimming is a very healthy sport, football is too. I’m in favor of any sport, sport is the best ambassador. And a sports-wise educated population is a healthy population, prepared to also face issues in other walks of life. I think my uncle called me the ‘Romanian missile’, he sometimes comments on social media. I like to be called like that, if this is an inspiration to people,” Popovici said, according to Agerpres.
EduMin Cimpeanu: I bow to David Popovici’s performances
Education Minister Sorin Cimpeanu congratulated David Popovici on Thursday for his performances at the World Swimming Championships.
“I want to congratulate David, he is a student, he is a student who makes us all proud of his success. In September we were with him, in exactly the same place, and I have noticed since then the maturity and determination of a student, a Romanian student. Thank you. I bow to his performances,” Cimpeanu told a press conference.
PM Ciuca: David Popovici receives one million lei from the Government Reserve Fund
Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca announced on Thursday that the amount of one million lei from the Government Reserve Fund will be allocated to swimmer David Popovici.
“Today, during the government meeting, we made the decision to recognise the performance of our athlete David Popovici and this way we decided that, being an exceptional performance, we should show a matching recognition and we decided to allocate from the Government Reserve Fund the amount of one million lei, ” Ciuca said after the government meeting.
Photo: Facebook/David Popovici