Bruno Fratus, who had previously declared that he wouldn’t race the first season of the ISL to focus on the Olympics instead, has had a change of heart, influenced by one of the world’s greatest swimmers.
- After swimming a practice with British coach Mel Marshall and her Loughborough-based training group, Fratus said that Marshall is “tough.”
British breaststroke Adam Peaty, who has spent some time recently training in Florida where Fratus lives and trains, joined Fratus for a workout recently. When the two were relaxing in the hot tub after their training, Peaty floated the idea of Fratus joining the London Roar, who will be shorthanded for 2 meets while the British continent of their team is at an altitude training camp in Arizona.
Fratus says that before talking to Peaty, he didn’t realize that attending only a single meet of the series might be a possibility. That appealed more to the Brazilian sprinter, and so he has committed, for now, to join the Roar for the Lewisville, Texas meet.
“I’m thrilled to be able to do it and see what happens,” Fratus said of his change of heart.
The 30-year old Fratus has won silver medals in the 50 free at each of the last two World Championships, including this summer in Gwangju. Upon initial consideration in June, Fratus said that while he supported the ISL, he was focused on long course racing ahead of the Olympics.
Fratus will primarily contribute to the Roar in the 50 free, and maybe a 50 fly, though he once joked that even the 100 free was too long for him. He has been under 22 seconds more than any other swimmer in history in the 50 long course meter free, however, so he will be a threat to win that race in Lewisville.
Fratus hasn’t swum any races so far this season, but last year, he swam 25 official races: 22 50 frees in long course, and 3 100 frees in long course. Fratus is also very good in shootout (‘skins’) races – he won the 50 free at the TYR Derby Shootout last year, and has performed very well in that format elsewhere.
The Roar have a number of talented sprinters, including Yuri Kisil, Vini Lanza, Cam McEvoy and the defending 100 free Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers, but in the 50 free, none are nearly as capable as Fratus in the triple-points skins race. His primary competition for the skins title in Lewisville will be Vlad Morozov of Iron Swim, Nathan Adrian of the LA Current, and Michael Andrew of the New York Breakers.
The Lewisville meet will be the first meet for all of the Group B teams, and will be held next weekend on October 19th and 20th.