Brazilian Etiene Medeiros, a multi-time FINA World Championships 50 back gold medalist and world record holder, is shifting her focus to sprint freestyle training to prep her Tokyo 2020 Olympic lineup.
Medeiros, 27, won the 50 back at Worlds in 2015, 2016, and 2017, but in 2018 slipped on her start in the semifinal and missed the final. But her sprint freestyle has lagged only slightly behind her backstroke; she’s been a perennial contender in the 50 free on the international level throughout her career. Most prominently, she finished eighth in the 50 at the 2016 Olympics as was the bronze medalist at short course Worlds in 2018, and Medeiros is the South American record holder in both the short course and long course meters event.
“Our focus today is sprint freestyle: the 50 meters and 100 meters free. Because of this, training has changed. If before I did more back and less crawl, now it’s the other way around. I will not leave the backstroke aside, even though I have a lot of evidence and this is another opportunity for me, I like to swim the ‘coast’,” Medeiros told Brazilian site Folhape (translated from Portugese).
“She has skills to swim the 50 meter and 100 meter races in three styles: free, back and butterfly. And now is the time to squeeze a little harder and find a test in which she can have an expressive result like what she already has in the 50 meters back. We have the challenge of finding the best way for her to obtain this medal in the Olympic Games and, at te moment, we see that the 50 meters freestyle is more physical and natural, ” said Medeiros’ Sesi-SP coach Fernando Vanzella.
Medeiros began her international career at 17 with a silver medal in the 50 back at the 2008 FINA Junior World Swimming Championships. She was the first Brazilian woman in history to earn a World Championship gold medal (in both short and long course), and the first to set a world record (SCM 50 back, 25.67) since Maria Lenk did so in 1939.