Several Brazilian swimmers who competed at the 2016 Olympic Games and Rio are currently without a club, including famed Brazilian sprinter Bruno Fratus.
Fratus was dismissed from Pinheiros, the club that he’s been training at throughout the entirety of his career. Fratus’ responded to his dismissal negatively over Twitter, announcing his frustration with the decision considering his success that he’s had at the club.
Depois de quase 10 anos de clube, duas finais Olímpicas, 5 medalhas Panamericanas, mundial, varios titulos nacionais… "Dispensado" é f**** https://t.co/6Wt6B6SHW7
— Bruno Fratus (@BFratus) January 23, 2017
Roughly translated,the Tweet reads, “After 10-years in the team with two Olympic finals, five Pan-Am medals, World, Several national titles…dismissed is a f***.”
Along with his international success, Fratus was ranked second overall in the 50m freestyle last year with a 21.37. At the Olympic Games however, he wasn’t able to replicate that performance, finishing sixth overall in the final with a 21.79.
Fratus wasn’t the only swimmer dropped from the team. Joanna Maranhao was dropped from the team as well. Sources claim that the reason was that she’s too old to train for another Olympic run.
Like Fratus, Maranhao had won several medals internationally. Maranhao is an eight-time Pan American Games medalist and a six-time South American Games medalist, including five golds.
Former Lousiville swimmer Joao de Lucca was also dropped from the team and currently remains unattached as does Fratus. Lucca also has an extensive record of medaling internationally. He won three holds at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, a bronze at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships, and two medals at the 2014 short course world championships.
Although a specific reasoning for the dismissal of Fratus and Lucca hasn’t been released, it would appear that it could potentially be due to their age as well. Both athletes are 27-years-old, which would make them 31 by the time the next Olympics rolls around. Most competitors in the sport rarely swim past 30, let alone perform at an internationally level past 30.
It seems as though it’s a followed trend in Brazilian swimming now. One of Brazil‘s top swimmers ever, Thiago Pereira, along with Felipe Franca and Leonardo de Deus all found themselves removed from their clubs this season. de Deus was able to join Unisanta with a salary cut, however the other two still remain unattached.
All three will be considered old for swimming come 2020. Both Pereira and Franca will be in their mid-30s whereas de Deus will be 30.