FINA World Championships, Swimming: Cesar Cielo Defends 50 Free Title

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SHANGHAI, China, July 30. FRESH off being almost completely cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for his positive doping test for furosemide, Brazil's Cesar Cielo won his second gold medal of the meet at the FINA World Long Course Championships.

Cielo added the men's 50 free crown to his 50 fly win from earlier in the meet with a victorious time of 21.52. He left no doubt in his title defense, as he won by nearly half a second. While he did not approach the textile best of 21.36 owned by Fred Bousquet since August of last year, his time was plenty good enough for the win. He joins Tom Jager (1986, 1991) as the only men to have defended a title in the 50 free since the event began being offered in 1986.

"I felt stronger tonight," Cielo said. "This has been a crazy week, and a crazy situation. I must be a little bit faster by next year's Olympics. There is a bit of room to improve. Today, I just focused on my race."

Italy's Luca Dotto checked in with a silver-winning time of 21.90 for his first world championship medal, and Italy's first ever medal in the event's history.

France's Alain Bernard gave his country a second straight meet in which it has medaled in the event with a bronze-winning 21.92. Bousquet and Amaury Leveaux took second and third behind Cielo in 2009.

"I'm not really satisfied with the result, and I'm exhausted." Bernard said. "It is important to be competitive for the Olympics next year."

USA's Nathan Adrian missed the podium by the slimmest of margins with a fourth-place 21.93, while Brazil's Bruno Fratus faded to fifth with a 21.96 after a semifinal-leading time of 21.76.

Hungary's Krisztian Takacs (21.99), Trinidad's George Bovell (22.04) and South Africa's Gideon Louw (22.11) also vied for the world title.