RIO DE JANIERO, Brazil, June 2. BRAZIL Swimming will head to its top meet of the year, the Pan Pacific championships, without star Cesar Cielo among the 19 names listed on the roster released today by the federation.
Cielo participated in the Maria Lenk Trophy meet in April and qualified to race in the 50 and 100 freestyles, as well as the 50 fly, at Pan Pacs. But sources tell Swimming World that Cielo wants to put a singular focus on December short course world championships and continue to put in the hard training with Scott Volkers in his new base in Brazil.
Cielo is the reigning Pan Pacific championships 50 butterfly champion, and won silver in the 50 free and bronze in the 100 free at the last edition in 2010. Since then, Cielo has won two world titles in the 50 free and 50 fly as well as a bronze in the 50 free at the 2012 Olympics. He relocated to Arizona this time last year to begin work with Scott Goodrich, and is reportedly splitting his time between Volkers in Brazil and Goodrich in Arizona.
Brazil has plenty of strong medal contenders on the roster, especially on the men’s side. Marcelo Chierighini and Bruno Fratus are top 50 free candidates, while Chierighini and Joao de Lucca could battle in the top eight of the 100 free. De Lucca, the reigning NCAA champion in the 100 and 200 free, will look to show his worth in the long course pool after becoming the third-fastest in history in the 200-yard freestyle. Nicolas Oliveira, another NCAA standout, will also be in the hunt in the 200 free.
Thiago Pereira is looking like a gold medal possibility in the 200 IM, if Ryan Lochte’s knee problems keep him out of the event. Pereira will likely match up against Chase Kalisz in the 400 IM in a rematch of last year’s worlds, where Kalisz won silver and Pereira bronze in the longer IM.
Felipe Silva, Joao Gomes, Thiago Simon and Tales Cerdeira will provide a strong arsenal for Brazil in all three breaststroke events, while Leonardo de Deus and Guilherme Guido could be a powerful duo in backstroke.
Only six women will travel to Australia for the mid-August meet, with Daynara de Paula leading the small squad. Look for de Paula to excel in the butterfly events, with Etiene Medeiros looking to get on the podium in backstroke.
Romulo Noronha will serve as head coach for the Pan Pac team. Among the assistant coaches on the roster is Brett Hawke, the head coach of Auburn’s swim team, and Chierighini’s personal coach. Hawke has been a roster coach for Brazil many times, dating back to the 2008 Olympics, where he helped Cielo win gold in the 50 free.
Leonardo de Deus
Joao de Lucca
Daynara de Paula