Luiz Borges Clocks 21.19 SCM 50 Free, Now Brazil’s #4 All-Time Performer


Luiz Borges won the men’s 50 freestyle at the 2021 Jose Finkel Trophy last night, clocking a 21.19. Borges, who swam collegiately in the NCAA for the University of Michigan, typically went by “Gus” while competing for the Wolverines.

Despite Borges winning the race last night, he didn’t make Brazil’s roster for the 2021 SC World Championships in Abu Dhabi in December. This is because Brazil had a maximum roster cap of 20 swimmers for their SC Worlds roster, and it’s mandated that at least 6 roster spots must be reserved for female swimmers. The 14 men’s roster spots were filled based of how highly swimmers would have placed at the 2018 SC World Champs.

The 21.19 marked a huge personal best for Borges, and adds to Brazil’s storied history of male sprinters. Borges is now the #4 all-time Brazilian in the SCM 50 free, coming in behind only Cesar Cielo, Nicholas Santos, and Bruno Fratus. Notably, Santos, who is now 41 years old, came 6th in last night’s final with a 21.65, which is less than a second slower than his personal best of 20.74 from 2009, when he was 29 years old.

Here are the all-time top 5 Brazilian 50 freestylers rankings:

Rank Time Swimmer Date
1 20.51 Cesar Cielo 12/17/2010
2 20.74 Nicholas Santos 9/15/2009
3 20.98 Bruno Fratus 9/9/2020
4 21.19 Luiz Borges 8/14/2021
5 21.29 Matheus Santana 8/28/2018

Speaking on Brazil’s history of developing great men’s sprinters, the 3 swimmers ahead of Borges in the all-time rankings are each highly decorated in international competition. Cesar Cielo is the current World Record-holder in the LCM men’s 50 free, and won a total of 20 Gold medals spanning across Olympics, SC and LC World Championships, Pan Pacific Games, and Pan American Games that he competed in during his career. Nicholas Santos never won an Olympic medal, but is the current WR-holder in the SCM 50 fly, and won 10 SC Worlds medals over his career (4 Gold). Bruno Fratus recently won Bronze in the LCM 50 free at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and won 4 LC World Champs medals, and 5 Pan American Gold medals.

Borges recently graduated from Michigan, where who was on 3 Big Ten title-winning relays, and capped his NCAA career with a 5th-place finish in the 50 free at the 2021 Men’s NCAAs. Since graduating, Borges has left Michigan, and is now training at Virginia Tech, under head coach Sergio Lopez. Borges posted on his Instagram this morning celebrating his victory, and thanking the Virginia Tech coaching staff:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Luiz Gustavo Borges (@gborg2)

Borges’s father, Gustavo Borges, also swam for Michigan, where he won 10 NCAA titles. Additionally, Gustavo Borges won 4 Olympic medals, which makes him the 2nd-most decorated Brazilian Olympian of all-time. His 17 Pan American medals also make him the 3rd-most decorated Brazilian in Pan American Games history. Luiz Borges‘ mother, Barbara, also swam, competing collegiately for the University of Florida.

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1 year ago

Borges would actually be right now tied 3rd for most medal.
Robert Scheidt and Torben Grael has 5.
Scheidt – 2G, 2S, 1 B and Grael 2G, 1S and 2B.
With 4 together with Borges you have Volleyball player Serginho (2G and 2S – Impressive as he was on the national team from 2004 with already near 29 years old to 2016 with 40 and he just retired because of Covid-19 in 2020 when he was 44 years old already) and Isaquias Queiroz (Canoe, 1G, 2S, 1B)

1 year ago

“Notably, Santos, who is now 41 years old, came 6th in last night’s final with a 21.65, which is less than a second slower than his personal best of 20.74 from 2009”

Even more insane is that Santos was 21.78 last year aged 40…for 50m fly! 🤯

1 year ago

Great genes going for him

Reply to  Luigi
1 year ago

The best genes!

1 year ago

Related to Gustavo Borges who won Olympic Medals during the 90’s?

Reply to  Dan
1 year ago

His son! And that’s Gustavo hugging him in the pic.

Last edited 1 year ago by Swimy04
Chineeese boy
1 year ago

Why isn’t he qualified for Abu Dabhi?

Reply to  Chineeese boy
1 year ago

^ even if by some weird metric he missed a country-mandated QT, he should at least be on a relay

Reply to  25Backstroke
1 year ago

Actually there was no QT

You had to hit A cut and this was compared to semis / prelims (for events with no semis) of last worlds. That would be your ranking, pumputis 200 IM would place him first at prelims so he got a first ranking. Last swimmer in was someone who would be 13th

Reply to  25Backstroke
1 year ago

Yeah, Brazil would almost certainly medal in at least the mens 4x50m medley (Guido, Lima, Santos and Borges)