WATCH: The Coolest View of Cesar Cielo’s 50 Free World Record As It Hits 14th Anniversary

On December 18, Cesar Cielo‘s elusive world record in the men’s 50 freestyle reached its 14th anniversary, with his mark of 20.91 established at the 2009 Brazilian Championships in Sao Paulo still on the books to this day.

The swim, produced two weeks before the official rules came into effect banning the super-suits from competition, can be seen from a unique from-the-stands vantage point, courtesy of Corinthians coach Caio Caneda.

Check out the video, and Cielo’s subsequent electric reaction and celebration, below:

Race Video

Cielo’s swim took down the previous record of 20.94, set by Frenchman Frederick Bousquet in April 2009. Although neither man went sub-21, Cielo (21.08) did get the better of Bousquet (21.21) in the final at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, the same meet in which Cielo set a new world record of 46.91 en route to gold in the 100 free.

That record was broken last year, with David Popovici clocking 46.86 to erase the mark after it spent 13 years on the books.

While the 47-second threshold in the 100 free has now been broken by three swimmers in a textile suit, the 21-second barrier has been elusive.

Caeleb Dressel is the fastest man outside of 2009, having clocked 21.04 in both 2019 and 2021, and this past year we saw Australian Cameron McEvoy fire off a time of 21.06.

Cielo’s 50 free record is one of five individual long course world records that remain from 2009—four of which are in men’s freestyle events. Will it last through 2024?

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Boxall's Railing
4 months ago

Unpopular opinion, but I hate this swim so much…Mr. Furosemide himself in Brazil (less chance to get caught for doping/masking agent usage there), the ridiculous bodysuits with racing in December as desperate last chance for the record, the seemingly low-ceiling/small pool deck, the post-race celebration (yes Cesar, you do this every time you win a race).

Will be happy once this should-be-asterisked record is broken. Please, McEvoy or Dressel… You can do it!

Last edited 4 months ago by Boxall's Railing
Hank
4 months ago

Definitely not the most humble swimmer. Can’t wait to see that super suited record go down one day.

Boxall's Railing
Reply to  Hank
4 months ago

Agreed!

Brian
4 months ago

It surprises me that many of the commenters here seem to appreciate his post-race actions. Call me old school, I guess, but I find the over-the-top celebration distasteful and disrespectful to his competition. Particularly the standing on the block screaming display. And please don’t tell me that I have no clue. As a former US National Team member and big meet medalist, I have some understanding of the emotion behind a big accomplishment. A world record is clearly awesome, and something I never attained, but I can’t imagine acting that way. My parents would be ashamed of me!

Swimmin in the South
Reply to  Brian
4 months ago

Well, he did go to Auburn. Not sure how many classes he attended but he was there. Just following those before him. Freddy jumped out onto the block first.

Andrew
Reply to  Brian
4 months ago

I partially agree but take a different stance. Standing on the block and screaming after you barely break 21 in a suit that gives you over half a second per 50 is barely an accomplishment

Admin
Reply to  Andrew
4 months ago

And yet…nobody else did it.

Waterlife
Reply to  Brian
4 months ago

But it was cz he was at home , that’s a huge think for Brazil , so I feel like that was something that everyone was waiting to see and it’s gonna be on the records forever I think.

Kabes
4 months ago

This celebration always gives me chills

Andrew
4 months ago

Mickey mouse WR

PFA
4 months ago

This video is always an inspiration for me as someone trying to find ways to sprint faster felt this has been the standard for going faster and Cielo’s stroke rate is slightly less here (33 strokes) than other sprinters (34-37 strokes) and that’s something I’ll still look to despite the super-suits

BeardedSwammer
Reply to  PFA
4 months ago

I mean his textile PB of 21.32 is #7 all time textile. Supersuits didn’t suddenly make non-elite swimmers elite

KimJongSpoon
Reply to  BeardedSwammer
4 months ago

And yet the conversation around Biedermann would give you the opposite impression. People here get real upset about him and his “phony” records

Hank
Reply to  KimJongSpoon
4 months ago

Biedermann’s 400m record will be gone by OTs and 200m record may fall in Paris along with Cielo’s 50m record. Most of the super suited records will fall in 2024.

bignowhere
Reply to  KimJongSpoon
4 months ago

I think part of the “upset” about Biedermann was that Thorpe’s 400WR was so beloved. That, and Biedermann with a tech supersuit only broke it by 0.01. I know I felt that way at the time. Thorpe’s records had felt so out-of-this world in the early 2000s that I was really emotionally invested in them.

I predict someone will mention Thorpe’s full-body suit, but for various reasons, it is NOT the same. Thorpe’s suit wasn’t polyurethane-based. Also, he went 3:41 in a brief at age 16, suggesting it didn’t help him much.

But that isn’t really fair to Biedermann ; he was legitimately an elite swimmer. He was never as fast without a super suit, but he was still really… Read more »

Hank
Reply to  BeardedSwammer
4 months ago

That’s about the same time separation between Caleb Dressel and Michael Andrew

Andrew
Reply to  BeardedSwammer
4 months ago

Biedermann would like a word with the last part. Goes from 1:46.00 to 1:42.00 in year, and then breaks 1:45 twice or so more in his career after the suits are banned.

Same goes for the 400: 3:48.03 to 3:40.07 in a year and breaks 3:46 once or twice more in his career after the suits are banned.

And people still think these supersuit records being recognized as legitimate is a good thing. Put an asterisk next to them at the very least

GrameziPT
Reply to  Andrew
4 months ago

I watched bierdemann live swim to a 200 Free European record in Monaco 2009 with the old textile suit. I was there competing. He was legit. He did 1.44 in textile in Monaco 2009, so it didn’t really come as a surprise for me for him to explode in Rome. Then came world championships and he gets the arena xglide in peak shape e goes 1.42. People were mainly upset because he beat Phelps head to head in the 200. But what should have biederman have done? I would like you to watch the 2008 Beijing final of the 200 free. There is 7 guys there swimming with LZR suit. Phelps wins it with 1.42.96. Can you guess who was… Read more »

BOBFROMTHEISLAND
4 months ago

Great start is, average underwaters, the speed on top the water is what separates him from Dressel and McEvoy’s best swims. Gonna take a special effort to ever beat this in a textile.

Shogun
4 months ago

How fast was that swim with today’s jammer? 21.6ish im guessing.

swimapologist
Reply to  Shogun
4 months ago

No it’s at least 20.2 with today’s tech //Brett Hawke

(Get it? Because Bret speeds up videos to make them look faster than they are? Or did y’all not know?)

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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