Credit to: Daniel Remes

European Aquatics together with the Romanian Aquatics Federation – organisers of this year’s European Short Course Swimming Championships – are proud to reveal the medals and mascot for Otopeni 2023.

The 22nd edition runs from 5-10 December at the Olympic Complex Otopeni, 10kms north of capital city Bucharest, with 42 medal events contested over six days of racing.

Otopeni 2023 Organising Committee President Camélia Potec revealed the meaning behind the design on the medals that will be awarded.

She said: “National identity is a motivational influence.

“Showcasing to the world Romanian flag waves is a matter of pride. It’s with a sense of achievement that we present the values it stands for.

“The blue represents liberty, the centre band is yellow in colour and symbolises justice and red is the final band, and it represents fraternity of the nation.

“The filigram from the front of the medal is a peony which has officially become the National Flower of Romania.

“On the back of the medal, we have the same design as on the mascot which is a symbol from the national Romanian shirt and also the composite logo and the date of competition.

“For Romanian swimmers that will be present at the Championships, as well as for the Romanian public, the 2023 Otopeni Short Course Swimming Championships logo speaks about the power of the team, fair play, excellence, respect and friendship all wrapped up in the symbolic splashes that the event will produce.”

Credit to: Daniel Remes

The mascot is a turtle which also bears the logo on its shell.

Potec explained: “We chose the turtle because it is a water animal. We have some species that live in the Danube Delta, a national biosphere reserve and national park in Romania which is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site.

“The colours of the elements of the shell are the blue, yellow and red of the Romanian flag.

“The design – which is also used on the back of the medal and medal lanyard – is a traditional Romanian element which is included in the national shirt, the IE Romaneasca which has been classified on UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage list.

“We are very proud that we can promote our country all over the world by our traditional national identity and since the athletes are the greatest ambassadors a country could have, we are delighted that Romania will be so well represented.”

Credit to: Simone Castrovillari

The six-day meet will feature Olympic, world and European champions and world record holders from across Europe.

David Popovici will compete in the same pool where he won four golds and a silver at the 2022 European Junior Championships shortly after becoming double world champion in Budapest.

The Romanian then went on to lower the 100m freestyle World Record to 46.86 while becoming the third-fastest man all-time over 200 in 1:42.97 at the European Championships in Rome.

The Romanian Aquatic and Modern Pentathlon Federation confirmed a 21-strong team for the meet with Popovici racing the 100m and 200m freestyle plus the 4x50m freestyle and 4x50m medley relays.

The squad also features 14-year-old Daria Mariuca Silisteanu, who won 100m backstroke silver and 50m bronze – the latter in national record time – at the 2023 European Junior Championships, and Vlad-Stefan Mihalache, the 200m butterfly silver medallist in Belgrade, Serbia, in July.

Vlad-Stefan Stancu, who set Romanian records in the 800m and 1500m freestyle en-route to double silver at the European Juniors as well as taking bronze over 400m, will also compete.

You will be able to follow all of the latest news and videos from Otopeni 2023 via the European Aquatics website and social media channels, with LIVE STREAMS available via All Aquatics.