Another former Auburn star, Fred Bousquet, took third place in the 100 freestyle with a time of 47.25.
Auburn swimmers picked up their sixth medal of the world championships competition on Thursday night as Eric Shanteau added to the total with a bronze in the 200 individual medley. Competition will continue through August 2nd in Rome.
"I could feel it coming," said Auburn coach Brett Hawke, who trains both Cielo and Bousquet. "Cesar (Cielo) hadn't given everything in prelims and semis. I knew he had more in the tank and was going to make a run at the record. He has always got something extra in him. Cesar is something special."
Cielo and Bousquet are the co-favorites in the upcoming 50-meter race that starts with the prelims on Friday. Other Auburn swimmers in the race include Alexei Puniski, George Bovell and Jakob Andkjaer plus 2009 signee Adam Brown.
Hawke says the showdown between Bousquet and Cielo should be a good one. "It's going to be a dogfight between the two of them on Saturday--two Auburn heavyweights going at it. They have really separated themselves from the rest of the world."