Swim brand Arena has signed a sponsorship deal with 25-year-old Brazilian freestyle swimmer Bruno Fratus.
Fratus is the current Pan Pacific 50m freestyle champion and record holder and, according to Arena, will be a serious podium contender at the 2016 Olympics in his home country.
Fratus has been a 50m freestyle finals regular since 2010, when he finished fourth at the Pan Pacific Championships in Irvine, USA. He followed this up at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai with the best semi-final time – one that would have won the silver medal – but unfortunately couldn’t match the feat in the final, finishing fifth. Later in the year he picked up a silver medal in the same event at Guadalajara’s Pan American Games, and at the 2012 London Olympics had a near-miss as he finished fourth just 0.02s out of the podium placings.
2013 marked something of a sabbatical for Fratus as he took time out to have surgery on a long-standing right shoulder injury. Having joined up in the interim with sprint coach Brett Hawke at Auburn University, he returned in fine fettle with an impressive 2014 season, starting out in March with the 50m free gold medal at the South American Games in Santiago, Chile. Summer took him to Australia’s Gold Coast for the Pan Pacific Championships, where he put in a career-best performance, beating an extremely strong field to take the gold medal in a new championship record time of 21.44s. He finished off the year by swimming lifetime bests at December’s Brazilian Open in both 50m and 100m freestyle (21.41 and 48.57).
“I’m naturally thrilled to become part of the Arena team,” says Fratus. “These next two years are going to be crucial in my career, and so it’s really important that I’m working with the best equipment and support I can get.”