Cesar Cielo put any doubts about the health of his knee to rest by blasting a world leading 21.39 this week at the Maria Lenk Trophy meet in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Brazilian has now posted world leading times in the event in back to back years after undergoing knee surgery in 2012 following the Olympic Games in London.
Australian Eamon Sullivan had posted a 21.65 at the Aussie Commonwealth Trials a couple weeks ago, but Cielo’s early season form not only propels him to the top of the world rankings in the event, but also bodes well for the Pan Pacific Championships this summer, which will be Cielo’s championship meet of the year where he and Sullivan, a former world record holder in the event, will face off along with James Magnussen and the American sprinters.
For Cielo the time is doubly satisfying as it is just off of the time he posted at the FINA World Championships last summer, where he posted his fastest time ever in a textile (and fastest ever in the non-supersuit era, period) when he clocked a 21.32.
Right behind Cielo was countryman Bruno Fratus, who posted a blistering 21.45 shaving 0.15 off of his best time. The time puts him comfortably in 2nd in the world rankings so far this year. In the same race Marcelo Chierghini, who is coming off of his senior year at Auburn, placed in fifth place clocking a 22.51. All three Brazilians have or are currently training at Auburn under Brett Hawke, considered one of the Meccas of freestyle sprinting in the world.