Marcelo Chierighini ’14 will compete for the gold medal in the Men’s 100m Freestyle Wednesday, August 10 at 9:03 p.m. CT.
An anchor of Auburn’s swim team from 2010 to 2014, Chierighini qualified for the final with a time of 48.23 seconds, leading at the 50m mark with a 22.59 split, the fastest first half of any semifinalist in the event. He would go on to finish 5th in the semifinals, moving him to the eighth position in the pool Wednesday night where he will compete against top seeded Nathan Adrian of the U.S. who leads the semifinalists with a time of 47.83.
“I feel amazing,” Chierighini said after learning he had qualified for the final. “It’s in my home country and after the race, all the crowd was being supportive. It is an honor for me because I have been watching Cesar [Cielo], I’ve been watching [Fernando] Scherer and Gustavo [Borges] and this is a very traditional event for Brazil so it is an honor for me and I am very excited for tomorrow. War Eagle!”
Chierighini reached the semifinals with a time of 48.53 to finish sixth. His time was ranked 13th fastest in the morning, only .63 seconds behind top qualifier Kyle Chalmers of Australia (47.90).
“I am so proud of Marcelo and this achievement,” said Brett Hawke, Auburn head coach and assistant coach for Brazil at the 2016 Olympics. “He has worked so hard over many years, but none more than this year and this preparation for his home Olympics. It’s hard to fully understand the impact of the crowd until you walk out but he has handled it outstandingly. We are ready for the final! War Eagle!”
Ziv Kalontarov, a sophomore from Rishon Lezian, Israel, tied for 45th in the 100m Freestyle with a time of 50.65. The Israeli national record holder for the 50m Free, Kalontarov will face off in the preliminary round of that event Thursday against fellow Auburn Tigers George Bovell and Fred Bousquet, both ’06. Kalontarov and Bovell will compete in lanes 6 and 7, respectively, of heat 8 while Bousquet will swim in lane 1 of heat 9.
Julie Meynen, an incoming freshman, will represent Luxembourg against Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace ’12 of the Bahamas in the preliminary round of the Women’s 100m Free. Meynen will compete at 11:08 a.m. CT (lane 8, heat 3) and Vanderpool-Wallace at 11:14 a.m. (lane 7, heat 5).
Stay up-to-date on all swimming results at Olympics Central here at auburntigers.com