AP Photo/Adam LauNathan Adrian won both the 50 free and 100 free this past week at the Pan Pacs.
IRVINE, Calif. -- After adding a thrilling split-second victory in Saturday's 50-meter freestyle to his win in the 100 free earlier this week, Nathan Adrian had but one thought about what it meant for him going forward: he's a marked man.
All he had to do Saturday night was look in the lane next to him, where Brazil's Cesar Cielo showed up this week as the world-record holder in the 50 and 100 free only to be edged by Adrian in both races.
In the 50 free, Adrian was in the water one-tenth of a second faster than Cielo. The two were side-by-side the entire race, with Adrian reaching the wall two tenths of a second faster than Cielo to take the win in 21.55. Later, Adrian anchored the men's 4x100 medley relay team that also took gold.
"It's just a great confidence-booster," Adrian said. "We're still two years out of the Olympics. It's not like anything is going to come easy. If anything, there's a little bit of a target on my back and I'll have to work harder to maintain my position."
Cielo, meanwhile, will head back to training in Auburn, Ala., to figure out what went wrong.
"My freestyle is not going as well as I expected," he said. "It's something I haven't done well in practice or something that I'm doing wrong. I don't know. We have to look at all the workouts and all these things to figure out where the problem is."