Brazilian Cesar Cielo has entered the 100 fly many, many times over the last half decade, but has only followed through to swim it a handful of times. The most recent record we’ve found is at the 2012 Missouri Grand Prix.
While he’s one of the best 50 butterfliers in the world, Cielo has only occasionally toyed with the notion of pushing that to a full 100 on the world stage, and so it was a pleasant surprise when he followed through with his entry on Friday morning at the Arena Pro Swim Series – Charlotte meet.
Cielo not only swam the race, but he swam it fairly well in 54.31 – a solid contribution for a prelims swim in May. Cielo might, however, have been even a little faster, were he not swimming with a hole in his suit.
Albeit a bit tamer of a flaw than what we saw three years ago from Nathan Adrian when he split the suit on his backside, Cielo swam the race with a huge rip on the right thigh of his suit. SwimSwam’s videographer Coleman Hodges and photographer Mike Lewis were both alert enough to catch the photo evidence.
The time was the 14th-fastest in prelims, and the rip might be enough to encourage Cielo to swim again in finals, with his suit in-tact, to see what he can really do in that race. The ultimate goal of Cielo in the butterfly is likely not an individual entry in Rio, rather it’s more likely a test to see if he’s good enough to allow the Brazilians, with their ever-present stable of sprint freestylers, to rework their medley relay into medal contention. Cielo’s countrymate Thiago Pereira was 53.53 in prelims. Cielo has been at least a 53.0 in his career.
See images below from Coleman Hodges.