PHOENIX, Arizona, April 26. THE men's 50 free final lived up to the hype last night in Rio de Janeiro at the Maria Lenk Trophy meet. Cesar Cielo swam a 21.38, the fastest time in the world, and two hundredths slower than the fastest ever in a textile suit, swum by Fred Bousquet in 2010 in 21.36. Bruno Fratus swam just a little bit slower in finals than he did in prelims with a 21.76, but Brazil is now first and second in the world in the 50 free. Fred Bousquet was third with a 21.79, faster than he swam at the French Olympic Trials. Had Bousquet swum that time at the trials, he would be on the French Olympic team.
Thiago Pereira is now second in the world behind Michael Phelps in the 200 IM with a 1:57.11, which is his best time in a textile suit. Pereira has never won a medal at the long course world championships or the Olympics in this event, despite being in medal contention on many occasions.
This morning's prelims were just as fast in Rio. Felipe Silva swam a 59.60 in the 100 breast, the third-fastest in the world behind two Japanese swimmers. Silva was already on the Brazilian Olympic team, thanks to his 1:00.01 from last summer's worlds, but this now marks the first time he's been under a minute in a textile suit.
Cielo and Bousquet will be the headliners in tonight's 50 butterfly final, and Pereira will be going for the win in tonight's 200 backstroke final. We'll bring you a recap of the competition later today on swimmingworld.com.
A chapter in the continuing saga involving sexual abuse between coaches and swimmers appears to be over. Yesterday in Indiana district court, the three-judge panel granted summary judgment to USA Swimming in the lawsuit filed by former swimmer Brooke Taflinger, alleging that USA Swimming did nothing to help stop the 10-year videotaping of female swimmers by coach Brian Hindson. Hindson is now serving up to 33 years in federal prison, but Taflinger's pursuit of more justice appears to have reached the end of the road.
Tomorrow morning in Fort Myers, Florida, is the USA Swimming 10K national championship, and the women's race is one to watch. The top two finishers in that race will go on to compete in the Olympic 10K qualifier in June in Portugal. Only one American woman can move on to represent the United States in the Olympics from that race. With Alex Meyer already qualified for London in the 10K, the Americans are unable to qualify another male entry according to FINA qualification rules. Meyer will be racing in the men's 10K tomorrow, and Arthur Frayler, the Pan American Games silver medalist, will be just one of 34 others racing for the national title tomorrow.