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AFP
April 12, 2021

Brazil’s Fratus eyeing Tokyo after Mission Viejo win

Sports

AFP
April 12, 2021

LOS ANGELES: Brazilian sprinter Bruno Fratus won the 50m freestyle at the Pro Swim Series in Mission Viejo on Saturday in a time he hopes will seal his spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

With the coronavirus still raging, the Brazilian swimming federation designated the California meeting as a selection chance for Fratus, who lives and trains in Florida and now won’t have to travel home for trials in two weeks.

After topping the preliminary times with a 21.73 on Friday night, he won the 50m free final on Saturday morning in 21.80 seconds ahead of US star Caeleb Dressel (21.83) and Michael Andrew (22.13).

“It was a little bit of short notice,” Fratus said of the federation decision, which prompted a hurried taper from heavy training and a shave down for a meeting that wasn’t originally set to figure so prominently in his schedule.

“I think it was all right — 21.7 last night, 21.8 this morning. After all the Covid crisis, quarantine, having the pool shut down, I think it’s a good result.”

Fratus’s times put him inside the Olympic qualifying standard, but the 31-year-old, a two-time Olympian and a two-time 50m free world championships silver medallist, wasn’t assured of a 50m free Tokyo berth just yet.