ROME, Italy, July 26. WHILE all the talk heading into Rome was the rematch of the epic 2008 Beijing Olympics 400 free relay between the French and the United States, Brazil's up-and-coming relay might have its say at the FINA World Championships.
France's Amaury Leveaux, Gregory Mallet, William Meynard and Fabien Gilot broke the meet record of 3:12.72 set by the U.S. in 2007 with a 3:11.38 during the fourth heat. Brazil's Cesar Cielo, Nicolas Oliveira, Guilherme Santos and Fernando Silva finished qualifying with the mark with a top time of 3:11.26.
Cielo blazed his leadoff leg with a 47.39 to finish qualifying with the meet record in the 100 free. Filippo Magnini's 2005 time of 48.12 went through a few iterations. In heat three, Canada's Brent Hayden went 47.77, while Sweden's Stefan Nystrand clocked a 47.52 in heat four. Cielo completed heat five with the mark. He also bettered his national mark of 47.60 set in May.
Great Britain's Adam Brown, Simon Burnett, Liam Tancock and Ross Davenport finished third in 3:11.62, while the U.S. team of Garrett Weber-Gale, Matt Grevers, Ricky Berens and Cullen Jones qualified fourth in 3:11.64.