The 2016 Phoenix Winter Invitational hosted by the Phoenix Swim Club has one more day of competition, but Saturday already brought a huge marquis race to the fans.
Brazilian Olympic gold medalist Cesar Cielo took to the pool in the men’s 100 yard freestyle, where he threw down a solid 43.12. The 29-year-old looked smooth and fierce, overpowering the competition by over two seconds. Runner-up in the race was Luis Flores in 45.28, followed by Erik Risolvato who stopped the clock at 45.32.
The 2007 NCAA Champion in this 100 freestyle event has plenty of yards experience having competed for Auburn University, but it’s still an eye-opening site to see an Olympic gold medalist make a yards pool look like a backyard splash playground.
For Cielo fans it’s reassuring to see the Brazilian back at it, as the stud most recently pulled out of the Brazil Open back in December. After having qualified a disappointing 11th in the men’s 100 meter freestyle at the meet, Cielo withdrew from the Olympic-qualifying meet, leaving April’s Maria Lenk Trophy as his final chance to gain a spot on his nation’s Olympic roster.
Cielo also made a bold move earlier this year changing coaches (yet again). As reported earlier this year, Cielo moved his training base to Arizona to work under Auburn swimming alum Scott Goodrich.