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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Popov Close to Record

MOSCOW -- Alexander Popov won the 100-meter freestyle in convincing fashion at the national swimming championship Monday but failed to break the world record.

Popov came within 6/100 of a second of breaking his own world record of 48.21 in Sunday's semifinal, suggesting he might go even faster in the final 24 hours later.

But hundreds of fans left Moscow's Olympic pool disappointed after Popov touched the wall in 48.59, well outside the mark he set at the 1994 world championships in Rome.

He still beat the nearest competitor, Denis Pimankov, by almost two seconds.

"I'm not disappointed because records are not meant to be broken every day as some people might think," Popov, 29, said afterward.