arena has announced a new sponsorship agreement with Marcelo Chierighini of Brazil, a 2019 global top 5 swimmer in 100m freestyle. The 28-year-old was a key member of the Brazilian 4x100m freestyle team that won gold at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo.
“I am very excited to be part of the arena team,” said Chierighini. “It’s a very important step in my career, to have the best technology and support in world swimming. I am optimistic that it will have a very positive effect on my results, and am thankful for the opportunity that arena has given me.”
Born in Itu in the state of São Paulo, Chierighini took up swimming at the age of 16 after his triathlete brother Philip encouraged him to give it a try, and was inspired to turn professional after watching the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.
It wasn’t long before he was swimming at the highest level of the sport, breaking the South American record as part of the Brazilian 4x100m freestyle bronze medal relay at the 2010 World Short Course Championships in Dubai. It was the beginning of a successful run with Brazilian relay teams, with whom he has gone on to win gold at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto (4×100 free, 4×100 medley) and 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo (4×100 free), silver at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest (4×100 free), and bronze at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast and 2018 World SC Championships in Hangzhou (both 4×100 free). Four of those swims set new records: new South American records in Budapest and Hangzhou, and Pan American records in Toronto. The 2017 Budapest swim in particular was historic, achieving the best Brazilian result of all time at World Championships in this event (the last medal being in 1994), and breaking the 8-year-old South American record set during the time of hi-tech full body suits. Chierighini swam the fastest split of the entire field (46.85), and the third-fastest split ever in a textile jammer.
Individually, Chierighini has made continuous progress: at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona he made the 100 free final and 50 free semi-final, setting personal bests in both; reacfed the 50 free final and 100 free semi-final at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast; won the 100 free bronze medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto; finished 5th in 100 free at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan; made the 100 free final at the 2016 Rio Olympics; repeated his Kazan result at the 2017 World Championships, where he equalled his personal best of 48.11 in the process; and came 4th in 100 free at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, where he also swam in the 50 free final.
2019 has started well for Chierighini: at April’s Maria Lenk Trophy in Rio, he swam a 100 free personal best of 47.68, placing him third in the world rankings and breaking an 8-year-old South American textile suit record. It’s a promising beginning for what are going to be a busy couple of years for him leading up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, starting out with the 2019 Sette Colli Trophy in Rome from 21st to 23rd June.
“My goal at Sette Colli is to win my individual races, even with such a strong field! My focus will be in the 100 free. I’m currently training in Turkey at the Gloria Sport Arena in preparation for all the European meets. After that we will go back to Brazil for the last two weeks of training, and then head to Korea in the beginning of July. My goal at the World Champs is to medal in the 100 free and also in the 4×100 free relay.”
Chierighini swam for the Auburn Tigers at Auburn University in Alabama, USA, from 2010-2014, during which time he won two NCAA titles (2013 4×50 yd freestyle and 2014 4×100 yd freestyle), and was named SEC Male Swimmer of the Year in 2013. In Brazil, he swims for EC Pinheiros in São Paulo, where he is trained by Alberto Pinto da Silva. In his home town of Itu, he is involved in Nadando com Marcelo Chierighini (Swimming with Marcelo Chierighini), a social project centred around swimming for 350 boys and girls aged seven to 17.