The Weekend Alex Popov Raised The Sprint Bar

Alex Popov by Patrick B. Kraemer

This is the weekend 13 years ago when Sprint Tsar Alexander Popov rattle the world of sprinting with a 21.64 world mark over 50m free; the standard stood until the advent of shiny suits and while those helped the world sprint crew to understand how it might get beyond the legendary Russian, it was Popov who raised the bar four years beyond building a unique plinth in the pantheon with four Olympic sprint crowns to his credit

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This is the weekend 13 years ago when Sprint Tsar Alexander Popov rattle the world of sprinting with a 21.64 world mark over 50m free; the standard stood until the advent of shiny suits and while those helped the world sprint crew to understand how it might get beyond the legendary Russian, it was Popov who raised the bar four years beyond building a unique plinth in the pantheon with four Olympic sprint crowns to his credit

Comments

Lennart

Nice article. Gary Hall Jr won the bronze medal in the 100m in Sydney 2000. Thorpe won it in 2004.

Craig Lord

Thanks. Yes, added in the wrong place.

Clive Rushton

When the sprint world was Biondi and Jager focussed in the period leading into the Barcelona Olympics, Alex, unknown in the USA, appeared in the “enemies’ back yard” – the Santa Clara Meet. It may have been his first venture outside Europe. In the final of the 50 he produced an outstanding win to lay down the ‘rules’ for the next decade of sprinters. I remember standing in the sun to watch as he beat Biondi, one of the greatest sprinters of all time, and thinking, “Uh oh.”

SwimFanFinland

I always admired Popov’s smooth technique. He brought a freestyle to a whole new level. Where is Touretski now? Still coaching in Switzerland? The Thorpe project seems to be over though.

Lane Four

Thank you for such insight into Alex. It was truly a masterpiece. And THANK YOU for the video! Personally, I was ready for Alex in 1992. I was tired of the Biondi/Jager build-up. Once Alex took over, there was an air of freshness and excitement to replace the stale same old Biondi/Jager anit-climactic suspense of seven years.

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