The Day In Perth Bill ‘The Peon’ Pilczuk Pipped Popov In A Dash To Prominence

Alex Popov, left, had reason to look over his shoulder at an angle he had not become accustomed to when Bill Pilczuk staged a big upset at Perth 1998 world titles - images by Patrick B. Kraemer and Craig Lord

Perth 1998 World Championships, 20th anniversary: As the sprinters about to find out who would be the most dashing of them all at 1998 world titles gathered in the call room, all eyes were on Alex Popov, quadruple Olympic champion and most decorated freestyler speedster in history. Not only was he the proven force as quadruple Olympic champion of the 50 and 100m free but the Russian sprint Tsar had made a sensational return from a brush with death to claim European crowns in late 1997 and then retain the 100m freestyle world title in Perth. Now for the 50m. Enter Bill “the peon” Pilczuk. Who? Well, a man who not only strove for but paid for the fruits of his labour

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Perth 1998 World Championships, 20th anniversary: As the sprinters about to find out who would be the most dashing of them all at 1998 world titles gathered in the call room, all eyes were on Alex Popov, quadruple Olympic champion and most decorated freestyler speedster in history. Not only was he the proven force as quadruple Olympic champion of the 50 and 100m free but the Russian sprint Tsar had made a sensational return from a brush with death to claim European crowns in late 1997 and then retain the 100m freestyle world title in Perth. Now for the 50m. Enter Bill “the peon” Pilczuk. Who? Well, a man who not only strove for but paid for the fruits of his labour

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