July 29, 2013
BARCELONA, Spain - Former Auburn swimmer Cesar Cielo defended his gold medal in the 50-meter butterfly, and another former Tiger, Fred Bousquet, won the bronze medal Monday evening at the FINA World Championships.
Cielo, the Brazilian who also won the gold in the 50m fly in 2011, out-touched the United States' Eugene Godsoe by four-hundredths of a second, clocking a 23.01 to Godsoe's 23.05. Bousquet claimed bronze for his native France with a time of 23.11.
It marks the fifth career medal - all gold - at the World Championships for Cielo, and it was the sixth all-time medal and fifth bronze for Bousquet.
"It was a very tense final," Cielo said. "Everybody was very nervous. I think my finish was the key. The last (five to 10) meters, that was the main difference for me to touch first."
Cielo and the rest of the field were considerably slower in the final than in Sunday's semifinal, when Cielo touched in 22.86 and Bousquet in 22.93. Another former Tiger, Matt Targett, was 13th in the semifinals with a 23.39.
"The final is not the time to swim fast; the final is the time to touch first," Cielo said. "Getting through the tense environment and being able to swim fast is what's most important. I'm glad it was me today."
In other action during the first two days in Barcelona, Targett narrowly missed a medal as the Australian 4x100m freestyle relay team finished fourth in Sunday's final, touchingin 3:11.58, .14 seconds behind bronze medal-winning Russia. Brazil took seventh in the relay final Sunday night as current Auburn swimmer Marcelo Chierighini turned in the fastest anchor split in the field (47.56 seconds).
One other former Tiger competed on Monday as Gisela Morales finished 26th in the women's 100m backstroke.
No swimmers with Auburn ties are scheduled to compete Tuesday, but Morales will swim the 50m backstroke and Chierighini and Adam Brown (Great Britain) are entered in the 100m freestyle on Wednesday. Full coverage of the 2013 FINA World Championships can be found at bcn2013.com.