Video by Swimitup
Reported by Hannah Hect
With contributions from D’Artagnan Dias
18-year-old Brandonn Almeida clearly took it easy this morning at the 2015 Brazil Open in order to save energy for a monster swim in finals. Tonight in the 400 IM, he went 4:14.07, dropping 16 seconds from his prelim swim to hit a FINA ‘A’ cut, win the event, and beat his own Junior World Record. His previous record was a 4:14.47 set at this summer’s Pan Am Games in Toronto. Today’s swim places him fourth in the world rankings for this season.
Almeida swam very strong fly and backstroke legs, followed by an underwhelming breaststroke (a high 1:14), which made it look like he wasn’t going to make the Olympic cut, much less the Junior World Record. However, a brisk 57.75 free split sealed the deal, rocketing him ahead of his previous record.
Almeida’s FINA ‘A’ cut means that he will most likely be able to represent Brazil at his home Olympics in Rio next year. The 2015 Brazil Open is one of two meets where Brazilian swimmers can qualify for their Olympic team. Unless two more swimmers hit ‘A’ cuts at the Maria Lenk Trophy in April and swim faster than Almeida’s time, he is a shoe-in for the team. Given the results today, that seems unlikely. (Look here for more details on the Brazilian Olympic qualifying process.)
Coming in behind Almeida were Esteban Enderica (who set a South American record yesterday in the 1500 free) in 4:21.10 and Icaro Pereira, who finished in 4:25.25. Both swimmers hit a FINA ‘B’ cut.