RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, April 25. CESAR Cielo nearly posted a world textile best in the men's 50 freestyle final today at the Maria Lenk Trophy long course meet, which is serving as an Olympic qualifying meet for Brazil.
Cielo, the reigning world and Olympic champion in the splash-and-dash, posted a 21.38, nearly eclipsing Fred Bousquet's world textile best of 21.36 from the 2010 European championships. The swim also surpassed Cielo's world championship-winning time of 21.52 from last summer and vaults him to the top of the global standings.
Bruno Fratus, who enjoyed a few hours as the fastest swimmer on the planet in 2012 based on his 21.70 in prelims, placed second with a swift 21.76. Fratus' time from prelims keeps him second in the world, just ahead of Australian James Magnussen's 21.74. Fred Bousquet, unable to qualify for the French Olympic team when he posted a 22.05 at the French trials, placed third today with a 21.79, making him the fourth-fastest performer of 2012. That time would have been good enough for a spot on the French Olympic squad, if it had been swum last month in Dunkerque.
Women's 200 IM
Joanna Maranhao won the final in a tough battle with Spain's Mireia Belmonte, 2:14.63 to 2:14.66. Belmonte has been much faster with a 2:10.36 to her credit from the Spanish nationals. Manuella Lyrio placed third with a 2:19.56.
Men's 200 IM
Thiago Pereira blasted through the 200 IM final with a 1:57.11, making him the second-fastest performer in the world this year behind Michael Phelps' 1:56.32. Pereira had previously been ranked seventh with his 1:58.49 from last month's South American Games. It also marks a textile lifetime best for Pereira, who had swum a 1:57.35 in May 2011.
Placing second in the race was Henrique Rodrigues with a lifetime best 1:58.91, moving him up to tenth in the world rankings and qualifying him for the Olympic team after surpassing the FINA A standard of 2:00.17. Andre Schultz placed third in 2:01.45.
Women's 50 free
Denmark's Jeannette Ottesen outraced Graciele Hermann to the wall in the sprint free final with a 25.06 after posting a 24.98 in prelims. Hermann's second-place time of 25.15 dips her under the Olympic qualifying time of 25.27. Placing third was Flavia Cazziola with a 25.69.
Women's 100 butterfly
Ottesen doubled up with a win in the 100 fly in a time of 58.64. She's been faster this year with a 58.47 to her credit from January's meet in Belgium. Daynara Paula placed second with a 59.23, just missing the automatic Olympic qualifying time of 58.70. Fabiola Molina was third in 59.69.
Men's 100 butterfly
Henrique Silva won the 100 fly in 52.46, falling short of the FINA A cut of 52.36. In prelims, Kaio Almeida did get under the Olympic qualifying time, posting a 52.29 before placing second in the final with a 52.62. Marcos Macedo also swam faster in the prelims with a near-Olympic qualifying time of 52.40, then placed third in the final with a 53.09. Gabriel Mangabeira also missed out on Olympic qualifying in prelims with a 52.42 before placing fourth in the final with a 53.14.
Men's 1500 freestyle
Luis Arapiraca won a close race in the mile in 15:22.73, with Lucas Kanieski placing second in 15:22.95. Marcos Oliveira finished third in 15:24.50.
Women's 800 free relay
Flamengo took the women's relay in 8:11.52, while ECP placed second with an 8:16.29. Unisanta was third with an 8:17.73.
Men's 800 free relay
Flamengo and Minas battled through the long relay, with Flamengo taking the win in 7:20.02 to Minas' 7:20.80. Corinthians was third in 7:22.66.