Former Olympic champion Cielo misses individual spot at Rio
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) Cesar Cielo, Brazil's most successful and best-known swimmer, has failed to automatically qualify for an individual event at this year's Rio Olympics.
The 29-year-old could still yet compete at his home Olympics in the relays, if picked by the Brazilian selectors, but missed out on his favourite event, the 50-meter freestyle, for which he holds the world record.
Cielo, the only Brazilian swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal after his victory in the 50 at Beijing in 2008, needed to set one of the top two times in either of his country's two official qualifying events, the Brazil Open, held last December, and the Maria Lenk Championship, which ended on Wednesday.
He skipped the Open and could only manage third, behind Bruno Fratus and Italo Duarte, in the Maria Lenk Championships.
Cielo also withdraw from the final of the 100 earlier in the week, giving up the chance of securing an individual berth in the two-lap sprint, but could still be picked for the relays, which is at the discretion of the selectors.
In addition to the gold he won in the 50 at Beijing, Cielo also won Olympic bronze medals in the 100 at Beijing and in the 50 at the 2012 London Games. He also won six individual world titles in freestyle and butterfly, with the most recent in 2013, during his career.