2020 Swammy Awards: South American Male Swimmer of the Year Nicholas Santos

To see all of our 2020 Swammy Awards, click here.

2020 South American Male Swimmer of the Year: Nicholas Santos, Brazil

Even at age 40, Nicholas Santos continues to get it done in the 50 fly.

16 years removed from his first-ever World Championships medal (a 50 free bronze at Short Course Worlds in 2004), Santos remains one of the foremost butterfly speedsters on the planet.

He won 4 of his 5 meets in the 50 fly, besting elite swimmers like Caeleb Dressel, Andriy Govorov and Chad le Clos. But while it would have been understandable for a 40-year-old veteran to focus entirely on the 50 fly, Santos stepped up to pull his weight for Team Iron in the busy ISL format.

He swam the 50 fly, 100 fly, and two relays in every regular-season meet, putting up key 100 free and 100 fly splits. His regular-season finale 21.78 in the 50 fly shattered the ISL’s record and finished the season as the #1 swim in the world for the short course meter event. That swim was just .03 seconds away from Santos’ own world record, set in 2018.

Here’s a look at all of his ISL swims across the busy season of competition:

50 fly 100 fly 50 fly (skins) 100 free (split) 100 fly (split)
Match #2 22.38 50.77 47.05 & 47.89 51.06
Match #4 22.30 50.76 47.33 50.48
Match #7 22.04 50.18 48.74 51.33
Match #9 21.78 49.87 22.44 / 23.23 48.43 51.15
Semifinal #2 21.80 49.88 49.67

Honorable Mention

In no particular order:

  • Guilherme Guido, Brazil: Guido was an early-season hero for the London Roar, scoring 39 MVP points in the season-opener. He won the 100 back there and also led two rounds of the skins while completing a 1-2 sweep for London. Guido’s scoring tapered off a little as the season went on, but he did power London to third place overall and set a South American record with a 49.40 in the 100 back.
  • Leonardo Santos, Brazil: Iron’s Leonardo Santos was one of the breakouts of the regular season in the ISL. In one of the league’s most wide-open events, Santos dropped from 1:53.3 to 1:52.06 in the 200 IM, briefly leading the league and ultimately finishing as the #4 200 IMer in the ISL for the season. He scored double-digit points in all five of his meets, including four 20+ point efforts.


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6 months ago

Furosemide go BRRR!!!

6 months ago

King!! Nick Santos is an example of professionalism in our sport.

6 months ago

Isn’t it fair to be suspicious of Mr. Santos here?? He has failed a drug test before and his physique, especially at age 40, is somewhat questionable.

Last edited 6 months ago by HuntleyJones
Reply to  HuntleyJones
6 months ago

He somehow seems to be one of that guys that everyone has forgotten… weird how it goes.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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