Cesar Cielo Records a 49.4 100 Free in Time Trial

Brazilian sprinter Cesar Cielo time trial-ed a 100 free yesterday according to Brazilian news site SporTV, hitting the wall at 49.46 at a Pinheiros meet in Brazil. That time is just a few tenths shy of the world top 25 list, and marks only his second time racing in the last year. Two weeks ago, Cielo swam in his first race in 11 months, posting times of 23.75 in the 50 fly and 22.44 in the 50 free. His 50 fly ranked him 9th in the world at the time, which still holds at 9th today.

Cielo switched clubs earlier this year, leaving Minas Tênis to link back up with Pinheiros, where he trained from ages 15 to 22. After missing the 2016 Brazilian Olympic team and, in turn, missing out on the once-in-a-lifetime chance to represent his country at a home Olympics, Cielo has been racing again in hopes to bounce back this summer.

Brazilian sprinting, which is the signature strength for the South American nation, came home with zero medals at the Rio Games. In the 400 free relay, they were only able to muster a 3:13.21 for fifth place, almost two full seconds behind bronze.

According to SporTV, Gabriel Souza raced in the Pinheiros time trial as well, posting a 49.58. Meanwhile, two other Brazilians dipped beneath the 50-second barrier, as Bruno Fratus (49.18) and Marcelo Chierighini (49.32) raced at a meet in Auburn. Fratus and Chierighini were two members of the Brazilian 400 free relay in Rio.

Cielo is the world record holder in the 50m and 100m freestyle, having gone 20.91 in the 50 and 46.91 in the 100 in 2009 wearing an infamous “magic” tech suit. He holds the top 14 times in Brazilian history in the 100 free, the most recent of which being a 47.92 from the London Olympics in summer of 2012 which is the 11th-fastest time he’s ever gone.

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Will his LCM records ever be broken?



aussie crawl

King Kyle will do it very soon.

Conger FTW

Dressel wouldn’t like a word with you

aussie crawl

We all know Caleb blows up like a dead whale after 65 metres.


How’d that 4 X 100 free relay go for you guys at Rio?

aussie crawl

Awesome considering Roberts had a shoulder reconstruction and Magnussen had a partial one.
I think it was an awesome effort to medal.
Cam and Kyle helped the veterans get through in the end.


I feel your pain. We had to win gold with a teenager and some 31 year old guy in the finals, and used some 36 year old guy in the prelims.


I’m more inclined to think McEvoy will be the one. Still, Dressel and Chalmers are very, very real threats to that 46.9 as well. If one of those three does not knock that WR off before the end of their careers, I will be flabbergasted.

As for the 50 WR, I can’t see anyone but Dressel taking it, with the possible exception of Florent Manaudou if he can return to peak form.

aussie crawl

Dressel will be the one to do it for sure.
Think King Kyle adding the 200 free to his reputatre.


Do you think Horton will be able to hold off Clark Smith in the 400?

big calves



Was a joke…but I can’t wait to see them race


Ohh yess , he will .


A one hit wonder, to join a long list of others (McEvoy, Magnussen and all the others who have gagged at the Olympics.)


I’ll add Larkin and Cate Campbell to the list.


Larkin is a fine guy – he did his best but came up short to a Fabulous uncatchable Murphy .

aussie crawl

One hit wonder lol
Just remember Sydney and Athens.
No Yank male 100 free final in Athens.
King Kyle is like the GOAT ….. a big once in a generation swimmer.


Unlike the GOAT. One event.


Let’s bring the suits back, just for the 2018 NCAAs. 38.9 100 free!? 42.9 100 fly!? Of course, dressel will probably do something like that anyway


I wouldn’t call it an “infamous magic tech suit.” It was legal, and everyone was wearing them. Unfortunately for the guys in that era, we’ll never know what their best textile times were at their peak. There aren’t many before and after guys at their peak. Phelps in the 100 fly may be the only one who was in peak form in 2008 and 2012.


Agreed, I can’t stand the stigma about their use. If the suits were so amazing and the athletes weren’t how come all the records from the super suit era have been broken in yards?


Maybe “magic tech suit” would be a better phrase, rather than infamous.

The fact remains that the more meaningful record is 47.04.


We could nitpick all day about then-vs-now records. Cielo had no starting wedge when he set the record. The pool at the Foro Italia was built for the 1960 Rome Olympics. McEvoy had a starting wedge and a state-of-the art pool 40 years more modern (opened in 2011). Textile suits have gotten better practically every year since being reintroduced, and though they don’t provide the same surface area coverage, they’re not exactly absent a performance advantage. You put Cielo at his prime in a 2016 textile suit, with a starting wedge, and state of the art pool, and I’m not sure the record would be all that different. Similarly, Murphy had a backstroke wedge when he broke Peirsol’s record. The… Read more »


That’s a fair point, textile suits and other developments have progressed a great deal. Especially a few years ago, we could objectively state that a 48.00 in 2010 was for instance a suit and era adjusted better swim than a 48.00 in 2009, or even 2008. However, I do concede that the gap has closed. In fact, for the most part, the gap compared to 2008 has vanished in my opinion. Given the pace of improvement, by 2020 the gap verses 2009 might essentially be closed, at which time on average a 48.00 would be (on average, depending on technique body type of course) equally impressive in 2009 and 2020. However, the fact still remains that, for now, the sprints… Read more »


I think we’re just seeing a re-transition to optimal sprinting body type sans super suit. The super suits buoyancy and drag reduction factors facilitated the success and recruitment of enormous guys into the mix, Bernard being the classic, but Flo and Adrian went there, too, bulking up. Getting bigger/stronger was the name of the game. Popov weighed about 192 pounds, PVDH was about 176, Biondi 209 at 6’7″, and Ervin weighs 170 when he’s fat. The new guys — McEvoy, Chalmers, and Dressel — are all under 200 pounds. Modern training methods are showing how to pack more power into a leaner frame (can’t think of any swimmer more athletically powerful than Dressel at this point) to build the best… Read more »


Phelps definitely wasn’t anywhere near peak in 2012 since his lack of training in between 2008 and 2012. That is very well known he wasn’t all into during that time period.

Also he said as recent in rio interviews that he was probably 90 percent at 2008 Olympics since he had broke his wrist six months or so before the Olympics.


I’m talking 100 fly and 100 free relay splits for Phelps in pre-suit and post-suit era. His training wasn’t for the 400 IM and the 200 fly. He had no business swimming the 400 IM at London (like Lochte at 2016 OTs). And for those 100 distances, he was at or near his peak because he had put on so much muscle mass by 2012. 100 fly Beijing 50.58; London 51.21. free relay Beijing 47.51 (flat start), London 47.15, Rio 47.12. Sure he went faster in the 100 fly to break 50, but that wasn’t with the ridiculous event schedule he was trying at the two Olympics.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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