Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The NST : SWIMMING: Double surgery fails to stop Cielo

BARCELONA: Brazil's Cesar Cielo admitted he was relieved to have retained his men's 50m butterfly title on Monday at the World Championships, just ten months after surgery on both knees.
Brazil's Cesar Cielo shows off the 50m butterfly gold he won at the World Championships on Monday. AFP pic

Cielo claimed gold in a winning time of 23.01s with Eugene Godsoe of the US just four hundredths of a second behind claiming silver and France's Frederick Bousquet at 0.10s back to take the bronze.

With five gold medals from the last three World Championships, Cielo exploded with delight when his victory was confirmed after a difficult build-up to Barcelona.

"It was very tense, very nervous and my finish made all the difference," said Cielo, a sprint specialist, who won both the world 50m butterfly and freestyle titles in Shanghai two years ago.

After taking bronze in the 50m freestyle at the London Olympics, Cielo underwent surgery on both knees at the end of 2012 and admitted he was concerned the impact that would have on his performance in Barcelona.

"It was a really hard time for me after the Olympics," said the 26-year-old, who won the 50m freestyle Olympic gold at Beijing 2008.

"Right now, I'm 10 months on from the surgery and now looking forward to some time off, I am going to focus on getting my knees back to 100 per cent.

"I'm comfortable talking about my knees again: for the first three months after surgery I just wanted to practise and go home, I didn't want anyone to see me swimming the way I was practising.

"I'm not feeling 100 per cent just yet, because we didn't have time in training to get to full fitness, but I'm feeling very fast.

"I'm not as powerful, because I wasn't able to do squats in the gym or do any heavy weights, so we tried to focus on being fast and it worked.

"I want to thank my coach for implementing that vision.

"We tried to build the muscles in the way I was going to be able to use them effectively, so to win the gold medal is a huge relief."

The Brazilian started working with a new coach Scott Goodrich at Auburn University in Alabama earlier this year and Cielo said the move has paid off.

"I think the main change was having a new coach this year," admitted the Brazilian.

"I felt like after the surgery I needed a fresh start with a fresh mentality to get better results after the Olympics." AFP

Read more: SWIMMING: Double surgery fails to stop Cielo - Other - New Straits Times

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