Disclaimer: Dolfin Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Dolfin Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
As of 2017, Bruno Fratus was a staple of the world’s podium in the 50 free. But a shoulder injury in 2018 caused Fratus to miss a defense of his Pan Pacs gold medal, and at age 29, threatened his career prospects. In fact, a good year earlier (in early 2017), Fratus was dismissed from his Brazilian club in what appeared to be a purge of veteran athletes some considered past their prime.
But it’s Fratus getting the last laugh in 2019. The 29-year-old fired off a world-leading 21.47 in the 50 free at Brazil’s Trophy meet. It’s just Fratus’s second meet since his shoulder surgery, but he dominated the Brazilian field by more than half a second.
In fact, that time would’ve taken silver at Pan Pacs last summer and also would have made the A final at 2017 Worlds. Fratus now looks for a return to international medals – a medal in Gwangju this summer would give him 50 free medals in three consecutive World Championships – he won bronze in 2015 and silver in 2017.
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