The last major swimming event of the year, the Short Course World Swimming Championships, took place in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, a competition which was also attended by several Romanian athletes. The highest expectations were from David Popovici, a young athlete who, at the Tokyo Olympics, was very close to a medal in the 200 m freestyle event. Unfortunately, he has failed to qualify for his favorite event in the Abu Dhabi final. Bianca-Andreea Costea, the athlete with the highest chances for a good place in the women's competition, did not go further either. However, she managed to break the national record in the 50m freestyle event, which has been held by Livia Copariu since 1989.
The best Romanian performance in Abu Dhabi was achieved by Robert Glință. He won the bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke event with 49 seconds and 60 hundredths. The gold medal went to the American Shaine Casas, with 49 seconds and 23 hundredths, and the silver went to the Russian Kliment Kolesnikov, who finished the race in 49 seconds and 46 hundredths. For his performance at the World Cup, Radio Romania International designated Robert Glință the Athlete of the Week.
Robert Glinţă was born on April 18, 1997, in Pitesti. He started doing sports at an early age. He first took up karate, then he went for swimming. He broke dozens of national records, both for children, juniors and seniors. He was the only Romanian swimmer to reach the finals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He also reached the finals of this year's Games in Tokyo, where he recorded a much better time. In 2020, at the European Championships in Budapest, in the Olympic-sized pool, he won the gold medal in the 100 m backstroke event. In 2021, in Kazan, on short course, he became European runner-up champion in the 100m backstroke event and won the bronze medal in the 50m backstroke event. (LS)