Bruno Fratus & Brandonn Almeida Make Coaching Changes On Tokyo2020 Trail

Bruno Fratus gets set for silver at World titles - Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Bruno Fratus, Brandonn Almeida Makes Coaching Shifts

Two of Brazil’s top swimmers, sprinter Bruno Fratus and all-rounder Brandonn Almeida, have made coaching changes less than a year out from the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games.

Fratus’ switch is subtle: his on-off coaching relationship with Australia Brett Hawke is reported to be off. The 50m ace will continue to work in Coral Springs under the watchful eye of his wife Michelle Lenhardt, who had been working with Hawke’s programs.

According to Best Swimming’s Alex Pussieldi, Hawke will no longer be setting the schedule remotely nor popping in for coaching sessions from time to time. Fratus and Hawke worked together on the sprinter’s Rio 2016 campaign and, after a post-home-Olympic break, Fratus turned to the Australian once more in February 2018.

Hawke resigned from Auburn last year and of late joined the coaching team of LA Current, one of the US-based International Swimming League Pro-teams. Fratus races in the ISL for London Roar, his signing revealed by Swimming World.

Meanwhile, Almeida leaves the Corinthians Club he has been a member of for 14 years since boyhood in pursuit of a new adventure with SESI-SP. The move takes Almeida back to coach Carlos Henrique Matheus, who guided the medley man during his years of growth to best career result so far, 2012-2017.

Jul 17, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Brandonn Almeida of Brazil on the podium after winning the men's swimming 400m individual medley final the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Brandonn Almeida – Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel/USA Today Sports Images

Almeida bypassed the World Championships in Gwangju, Korea, and the Pan American Championships in Lima, Peru, last year. He was based in the United States for the past two seasons but a combination of change and focus on study left him shy of the career heights he achieved in 2015-17.

The Brazilian record over 400m medley remains at 4:08.86, courtesy of Thiago Pereira and a time of shiny suits in 2009. Pereira was the real deal: he matched that 4:08.86 for Olympic silver behind Ryan Lochte (USA) and ahead of bronze medallist Kosuke Hagino (JPN) at London 2012 two years after non-textiles were sunk for the surfers they were.

Almeida is the second-fastest ever Brazilian over 400IM, on 4:12.49, a time set at Brazilian trials in 2016, Pereira having swum inside that mark in textile six times. Almeida’s 1500m free best of 15:11.70 makes him fourth swiftest from his country all-time.

Almeida shares some history with Pereira: at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, Almeida claimed gold in the 400IM after the first man home, teammate Pereira, was disqualified. Almeida broke the  World Junior record, on 4:14.47. It was at that same meet, for bronze, that he clocked his 1500m best.



  1. avatar

    You used Alex Pussieldi as a resource- is this the same man who was investigated for beating a young Mexican swimmer and videoing young boys living in his home in Florida?

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      Yes, there were accusations against Alex Pussieldi. We are not talking about historic allegations nor allegations that were did not face investigation. The record shows that Pussieldi denied the allegations and that no charges were ever brought against him. His attorney, John Weinberg, said of the claims “… nonsense. If there had been anything to this, the police would have been all over Mr. Pussieldi like a cheap suit.” ‘John’, this story, of course, is not about Alex Pussieldi: it does mention the source of the story, in common with good journalistic practice. Pussieldi is TV commentator and blogger who is a regular presence at swim meets as an accredited journalist and is a leading source of information on Brazilian aquatic sports. It is in that context that he is cited, fairly and openly.