2016 Maria Lenk Trophy Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


Just three events were contested this morning, day 4 of the Maria Lenk Trophy. The men took to the pool in the 100m freestyle and 200m breaststroke events, while the women raced in the 200m butterfly. Each event has one swimmer who earned a FINA ‘A’ cut at the Brazil Open, but the top-2 times recorded here and there combined, prelims or finals, will qualify for the Olympic team (provided they’re under the cut).


  • Brazilian Record: Cesar Cielo, 46.91, 2009
  • FINA ‘A’ Qualification Standard: 48.99
  • ‘A’ Qualifiers from Brazil Open: 4

Heading into the meet, Brazil claimed 4 swimmers who notched the FINA A cut of 48.99 via the Brazilian Open. Nicolas Oliveira held the top time in 48.41, followed by Matheus de Santana‘s 48.71, Marcelo Chierighini’s 48.72, and Alan Vitoria‘s 48.96.

Today, some of the same players are still in the mix, but have stepped their games up even more. Chierighini leads the field after prelims with a mighty 48.20. Although 25-year-old has been as fast as 48.11 back in 2013, his outing this morning was swift enough to check in as the 5th-fastest mark ever posted by a Brazilian.

Oliveira was right behind, improving on his Brazilian Open time by just under a tenth of a second. 48.30 is Oliveira’s 2nd best result of his entire career, having only been faster back in 2009 (47.78), aka the supersuit era. Oliveira’s stellar swim now positions him as the 2nd seed headed into finals.

Having already qualified in the men’s 200m freestyle Joao De Lucca is trying to double up on his stroke speciality, carrying the 3rd seed in a time of 48.59. That, too, registers as the 26-year-old’s fastest time to date, surpassing his previous lifetime best of 48.67 from this same meet 2 years ago.

Reigning World Record Holder in the event, Cesar Cielo, did enough to make it into the final tonight, scoring the 5th seed (6th seed including Canada’s Santo Condorelli) in 48.97, but he’ll need to throw down something special to make his nation’s Olympic roster. Cielo dropped out early from the Brazilian Open after having earned a prelim time of 49.11 that rendered him in 11th place. With 4 swimmers already having clocked FINA A cuts and then upping the ante still with just this morning’s swims, Cielo is in for a big challenge this evening.

A total of 6 swimmers dipped beneath the FINA A cut in this prelim session. Notice the 3-way tie for 7th place, requiring a swim-off for the final spot in tonight’s final.

Top 8:

  1. Chierighini, 48.20
  2. Oliveira, 48.30
  3. De Lucca, 48.59
  4. Condorelli (CAN), 48.78
  5. Santos, 48.89
  6. Cielo, 48.97
  7. Silva, 49.30 (tied)
  8. Grabich, 49.30 (tied)
  9. Santana, 49.30 (tied)


  • Brazilian Record: 2:09.38, Joanna Maranhão, 2015
  • FINA ‘A’ Qualification Standard: 2:09.33
  • ‘A’ Qualifiers from Brazil Open: 0

Brazil’s National Record Holder in the event, Joanna Maranhão, came away with the top seed from this morning, stopping the clock at a time of 2:11.76. That time is already faster than Maranhão’s final time of 2:11.95 from the Brazilian Open last December, so the 28-year-old is well on her way to collecting another possible Rio-qualifying time. Maranhão has already qualified in the women’s 200m IM and 400m IM events.

Two non-Brazilians were next in line after the prelims, with Argentina’s Virginia Bardach racking up a morning swim of 2:14.95 followed by China’s Shuang Li who touched in 2:18.28.

The next fastest swimmer from the host nation was Maria Pessanha with her mark of 2:20.27, more than 10 seconds away from the FINA A cut. As such, Maranhão is the only athlete within striking distance, needing to drop just over 2 seconds from her AM swim to earn another individual Olympic appearance.

Top 8:

  1. Maranhão, 2:11.76
  2. Bardach (ARG), 2:14.95
  3. Li (CHN), 2:18.28
  4. Pessanha, 2:20.27
  5. G. Tomanik, 2:20.41
  6. Dizotti, 2:20.70
  7. C. Tomanik, 2:20.94
  8. Ribeiro, 2:21.07


  • Brazilian Record: 2:08.44, Henrique Barbosa, 2009
  • FINA ‘A’ Qualification Standard: 2:11.66
  • ‘A’ Qualifiers from Brazil Open: 1

The men capped off the morning with one more swimmer venturing into FINA A cut territory. Tales Cerdeira clocked a morning 200m breaststroke time of 2:10.99 to comfortably sit beneath the FINA automatic-qualifying standard of 2:11.66 and position himself that much closer to punching his ticket to Rio.

Thiago Simon was the only swimmer from the Brazilian Open to notch his spot with a mark of 2:11.29, so Cerdeira surpasses Simon as the top Brazilian 200m breaststroker headed into tonight’s final. Simon, who won this event at the 2015 Pan American Games in a time of 2:09.82, holds the 8th seed with a lackluster 2:15.49. Already having notched his qualifying time, the 26-year-old may be taking it easy this morning, only to make a statement tonight.

Just over a second behind this morning was seasoned swimmer Thiago Pereira, who got the job done in 2:12.13 to nab the 2nd seed. He’s joined by Minas teammate Felipe Lima, who scored the 3rd seed in 2:12.78.

Cerdeira, Pereira and Lima all hold slots on the Brazilian All-Time list in this event, with Cerdeira situated as the 2nd-fastest Brazilian ever with is 2:09.31 outing from 2009. Periera has been as fast as 2:10.66 back in 2009, while Lima logged a time of 2:12.62 at this same meet from 2012.

Felipa Franca Silva is lurking as the 5th seeded swimmer headed into tonight’s final, having clocked a time of 2:13.91. He was 2:11.56 at this meet last year, so look for him to break out and try to claim a Olympic roster spot in tonight’s main event.

Top 8:

  1. Cerdeira, 2:10.99
  2. Pereira, 2:12.13
  3. Lima, 2:12.78
  4. Myamoto (JPN), 2:12.81
  5. Franca Silva, 2:13.31
  6. Marques, 2:13.91
  7. Neto, 2:14.33
  8. Simon, 2:15.49


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Cielo in a 48 is promising, but Brazil is strong without him now. A big swim from Santana is way more important for Brazil.


Why not just race in lane 0 and avoid the swim off. Canada used all 10 at Trials.


Cielo is not swimming the finals of 100m free, according to news site uol. He will focus on 50m free on wednesday. Below his interview, with my translation: “Vim com a expectativa de tentar fazer os 100m em 48s e saiu um 48s97. Está dentro do que a gente estava programando. Não treinei para essa prova. Para falar a verdade, a gente fica até um pouco ansioso com a estratégia porque a gente não chegou nem a competir nos 100m livre, mas foi bom. Dentro do possível, tirei uma boa prova. Agora pensar nos 50m livre, que é o foco principal da temporada”, comentou o nadador. I came here expecting to swim the 100m in 48s, and got a 48.97s.… Read more »

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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