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Cielo Backs Up; Silva Best-Ever In Dash

Apr 27, 2012  - Craig Lord

At the Maria Lenk Trophy in Rio, Cesar Cielo matched his championship 4x100m relay split  with a 48.28 victory in the solo 100m freestyle that confirmed him as the dominant blue ribband force in Brazil but left him more than a second shy of the pace of golden favourite for the London 2012 crown, James Magnussen (AUS).

The world record holder's time today nestles in at 6th best in the world so far this year on the performers list, while Magnussen has raced faster four times, his best a cloud-busting 47.10 that raised the prospect of a serious challenge to the 46.91 global mark set by the Brazilian for the 2009 world crown at the Roma 2009 shiny suits circus.

The greater challenge for Cielo in the Rio race was the clock, silver going to Marcelo Ghierighini, on 49.05, bronze to Fred Bousquet (FRA), on 49.14, while Nicolas Oliveira and Bruno Fratus (on 21.76 in the 50m) led Joao Lucca as the three best Brazilians in line for relay action with the champion, their respective times 49.46, 49.51 and 49.61.

In the non-Olympic 50m breaststroke dash, Brazil continued to force the pace over one lap, Felipe Franca da Silva on a championship record of 26.87, just 0.2sec shy of the 2009 world record of Cameron Van Der Burgh (RSA) and the swiftest ever in a textile suit, past the South African's 26.90 from the semis at world titles last year. 

Franca, who clipped his own textile best of 26.91 twice on the day, now has the 7th best performance all suits with a time that is the third best of his career behind two suit-assisted efforts.

Thiago Pereira dominated the 400m medley with a 4:13.48 victory, no others inside 4:23. Racing in training, Mireia Belmonte (ESP) still had the edge over all in the women's long medley, her 4:39.41 effort leaving her almost 3sec up on next best, Joanna Maranhao, on 4:42.32 for silver, Bruna Primati, 14, winning the battle for bronze as the fastest of three on 4:59.

Joint world champion of 2011, Jeannette Ottesen Gray (DEN) was a class apart in the 100m freestyle, on 54.37, Daynara de Paula, with a doping ban to her name (furosemide, diuretic, 6 months), second on 55.54 as the best of three inside 56, bronze going to Larissa Oliveira, 55.92.

In other non-Olympic action, Juan Pereyra clocked 7:58.40 to hold off Marcos Oliveira, 8:00.60, in the 800m freestyle, American visitor Charlie Houchin on 8:04.68. Ana Carvalho took the women's breaststroke dash in 31.78.