Cullen Jones Wins Gold in 50 Freestyle
(Updated 8/21) Cullen Jones posted a blistering 21.84 in the 50 freestyle to win gold at the Pan Pacific Championships Sunday night in Canada. Jones defeated a score of former Olympians and the top sprinters in the world to put his name among the elite sprinters in the world. Cullen Jones swam a 22.14 to place first in the prelims of the 50 freestyle.
Rookie Cullen Jones has certainly proven himself this week, helping Team USA to a world record in the 400m free relay on Saturday night, then returning Sunday to take the men’s 50m free with a meet record time of 21.84. Jones beat defending World Champion Roland Schoeman of South Africa in the process, with Schoeman finishing second in 22.12. Canada’s Brent Hayden was third in 22.22. Team USA’s Benjamin Wildman-Tobriner finished fifth in 22.44, while Jason Lezak was ninth in 22.40.
Jones’ swim Sunday made him the sixth fastest swimmer of all time in the 50 and the fourth-fastest American.
“I’m supposed to be (a rookie), but I’m feeling better all the time,” Jones said. “I just came here to represent my country as best as I could, but I couldn’t have asked for a better meet.”
(Updated 8/20) Cullen Jones is at it once again. Swimming on the 400 freestyle relay team on day three of the Pan Pacific Championships, Jones helped the U.S. relay team set a world record in the event with a 3:12.46. The team of Michael Phelps, Neil Walker, Jones and Jason Lezak broke the record by more than a half second and won the race by nearly four seconds. Jones, who is fast becoming one of the brightest young stars in the international scene, will swim his best event, the 50 freestyle, today at the championships. Jones had the fastest time in the world last week in the 50 freestyle when he won the US National Championship in Irvine, Calif.
“I looked up at the 250 and saw that Cullen was ahead of world record pace, and I knew I was going to have to bring it home strong,” Lezak said. “These guys put me in a great position.”
Jones was also excited.
“It feels great to be a part of this team,” Jones said. “Being a rookie, I’ve always looked up to these guys. It’s good to bring (the record) back to the U.S.”
In one of the most prestigious international championships in all of swimming, former Wolfpack sprinter Cullen Jones will look to break a world record and continue to turn heads in the world of swimming. Jones is fresh off of a national championship, swimming a then-world best 21.94 in the 50-meter freestyle at the US Nationals. Jones also finished third in the 100-meter event and will swim both events this weekend at the Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships in Canada.
He recently signed a sponsorship deal with Nike worth a reported two million dollars, a contract that would make him the highest paid sprinter in the world.