Thanks to Takahisa Ide for capturing the above video of the 50 free final.
On Saturday night under the lights in Phoenix, a four swimmer 15 & over 50 free final saw two stars and two Olympic gold medalists Cesar Cielo from Brazil and Roland Schoemanfrom South Africa do battle in the premier swim of the meet.
Cielo won the event in 22.01, followed by Schoeman in 22.26.
Both swimmers have been better than that this year, and both will swim at the World Championships, but this was a good mid-season test for the two in a relatively low-pressure atmosphere. Cielo on top of the water in this swim looked as powerful as anyone in the world. It’s clear, though, that he’s still suffering from knee surgery earlier this year. Schoeman crushed Cielo off of the blocks, which historically is an area upon which the Brazilian relies for much of his advantage in this sprint race. Of course, Schoeman is known to be a very good starter as well, but Cielo still seems to be rebuilding strength in his lower half.
The other two swimmers in this special four-swimmer race were another South African pro Darian Townsend who took 3rd in 22.97, and home-turf favorite Herbie Behm from meet co-hosts Arizona State in 23.42.
Among other big names to race on Friday night included Arizona All-American Matthew Barber, who won the 400 free in 4:04.01; Melanie Busch winning the women’s 50 free in 26.64; and Australian Zac Dalby winning the 200 fly in 2:03.03.