44-Year-Old Nicholas Santos Breaks Retirement, Goes 23.4 in the 50 Fly in Mexico

1st Copa Queretaro Internacional

  • February 22-24, 2024
  • Queretaro 2000, Queretaro, Mexico
  • Long Course Meters (50 meters)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “1a Copa Queretaro Internacional”

The 1st international Copa Queretaro, which has occupied the space in the calendar previously held by the Jalisco International Meet, has once again imported a handful of international swimmers to elevate the profile and status of the meet.

Names like Michael Andrew, Dylan Carter, Jay Litherland, Katerine Savard, Sydney Pickrem, and Chase Kalisz attended the meet in Jalisco last year, though the timing relative to the ad hoc World Championship in February made it trickier this season.

This year, Carter returned along with a few Brazilian internationals to join the 80+ Mexican teams in attendance.

The headline of the meet was the men’s 50 fly, which saw a showdown between 44-year-old Brazilian Nicholas Santos and 28-year-old Trinidad & Toboggan Dylan Carter.

Santos confirmed his retirement after the 2022 World Championships, where he won the 50 fly to become the oldest swimmer to ever win a World Championship, but he’s made appearances at this meet series twice since then.

On Friday, he showed that he hasn’t lost much speed, winning the race in 23.47. Carter was 2nd in 23.68.

Bruno Fratus was originally scheduled to swim in this meet as well, though he underwent knee surgery recently, which seems to have kept him out.

Other swimmers entered include 33-year-old Leonardo de Deus, who so far has swum 1:55.89 in the 200 free and 56.47 in the 100 fly; and 38-year-old Joao Gomes Junior, who so far has swum 1:03.00 in the 100 breast and 28.70 in the 50 breast.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 month ago

Santos back in training for the Enhanced Games?

Reply to  Chlorinetherapy
1 month ago

I don’t know, you should resurrect Doping Florence Joyner who died before Nicholas Santos retired from swimming.

Seidman’s Calves
1 month ago

Wow! Brad Kline out to get back in that size 28 speedo and see if he’s still got the magic at 44. This guy makes me believe!

Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
1 month ago

Nobody will match his longevity. If 50’s of stroke were done at the Olympics he’d be an International hero

Reply to  Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
1 month ago

**Sarah Sjostrom has entered the chat**

1 month ago

If Nicholas Santos isn’t juiced up right now, I’ll streak NCAAs during diving

Reply to  Andrew
1 month ago

We can swim fast and stay strong far longer than anyone realizes. I’m in my 60s and still touching my college times and I have never touched any PEDs—ever. Most people stop training and sit on the couch.

If you have evidence that he’s cheating, then let’s hear it. Otherwise, it’s probably best not to impugn a man’s character and try to destroy his reputation when you know nothing about him.

Reply to  Fluidg
1 month ago

2011 served a suspension for doping

Reply to  Fluidg
1 month ago

Once a cheater …

Mr Piano
Reply to  Fluidg
1 month ago

With all due respect, if you’re swimming close to what you were in college, that just tells me you didn’t reach your physical potential back then.

Older swimmers can still swim fast, but we shouldn’t equate fast with world class fast. Anthony Ervin quickly deteriorated after 35, and Brent Hayden’s body seemingly started to break down in his later 30s.

Roland Schoeman supposedly was defying age, but it turns out he needed PEDs. And Santos has already tested positive in the past.

But here’s my hot take, if Santos is doping, which I believe he is, because of how old he is, he probably could go those times if he was a young man anyway. Not saying that… Read more »

Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Dara Torres then?

Mr Piano
Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago


Dara Torres was obviously an Olympic level talent in her youth, but I find it way too good to be true that she was able to be one as a 42 year old without the use of PEDs.

cynthia curran
Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

Well, doing 50’s versus 200’s is different in your 60’s. Melissa Beloit Ripley is about a second or 2 off the 50’s but about 30 seconds off in the 200 meters. Melissa Ripley went to two Olympics in backstroke.

1 month ago

Guy is ageless

Johnson Swim school
Reply to  Swemmer
1 month ago


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »