Rio de Janeiro: Olympic 50m freestyle champion Cesar Cielo sent a warning to his rivals by creating the fastest time of the year at an Olympic warm-up event in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.
Cielo won the 50m race in a time of 21.38 seconds, with countryman Bruno Fratus claiming silver (21.76sec) and Frances Fred Bousquet bronze (21.79sec).
After the event Cielo, who holds the 50m and 100m freestyle world records, said he still had scope for improvement.
"I am very happy with that time but I think I can do even better in London," Cielo said.
"The big difference now will be when I shave and prepare myself mentally. I will be more switched-on and have more adrenaline at the Olympics."
His time eclipsed the previous season-best mark of 21.74sec held by Australian rival James Magnussen, to whom Cielo gave a pointed warning.
"I`m not swimming to beat him. Each swimmer knows what he has to do," Cielo said. "He can absorb the time that I achieved today any way he likes. The first step has been taken."
First Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012, 13:09