Brandonn Almeida is an Brazilian swimmer born March 16, 1997. The distance freestyle and 400 individual medley specialist was named after the kung fu icon, Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon Lee. As a child, Almeida practiced judo and jujitsu as well as playing football. But ultimately, he fell in love with swimming, a sport he began when he was three years old. He trains at Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, in São Paulo.
At 16 years old, Almeida suited up for Brazil for the first time in Dubai at the 2013 FINA World Swimming Championships. His top finish came in the 400 meter medley, touching 9th. He also placed 10th in 800 meter freestyle and 15th in 400 and 1500 meter freestyle.
2015 South American Junior Championships
Almeida kicked off a busy season in Peru at the South American Junior Championships. He won two golds at the meet in the 400 meter medley and 400 meter freestyle.
2015 Pan American Games
In Toronto, Almeida collected two medals to help Brazil finish second in the medal table. In the 400-meter individual medley, Almeida was up against his Brazilian teammate and the Championship record holder, Thiago Pereira. The pair finished in a close 1-2 with Almeida in second, but Pereira was disqualified. Almeida took the gold in a new Junior World record time of 4:14.47.
Next up for Almeida was 1,500 meter freestyle. He took bronze in 15:11.70, breaking his own Brazilian Record he previously set at the Maria Lenk Trophy earlier in the year.
2015 FINA Junior World Championships
In Singapore, Almeida was the clear favorite going into the 400 meter medley, seeded two and a half seconds clear of the rest of the field. The Junior World Record holder looked to take the crown leading with 50 meters to go. But he was hunted down in the final stretch by USA’s Sean Grieshop, and settled for silver.
The tables turned on the final day in the 1,500 meter freestyle. Almeida sat in second throughout the distance, slowly creeping up on USA’s Taylor Abbott. In the final 50 meters, Almeida took the lead, then the title in 15:15.88. He also swam the 800 meter freestyle in Singapore, finishing 5th.
2015 Brazil Open
In the run up to the Olympics in his home country, Almeida made a strong case to be a member of the Brazilian team the following summer. In the 400 meter medley, a quick freestyle finish lowered his own Junior World Record for the third time in 4:14.07. Although his time was an Olympic “A” qualifying time, Almeida will have to wait until the second Brazil qualifying meet to secure his spot on the team.
2016 Olympic Games
In his Olympic debut at 19 years old, Almeida finished 15th in the 400 meter medley in 4:17.25 and 29th in the 1,500 meter freestyle in 15:14.73.
2017 World Championships
In Budapest Almeida finished 7th in the 400 meter medley final in 4:13.00.