With contributions from D’Artagnan Dias
The second finals session for the 2015 Brazil Open (Troféu Daltely Guimarães e Torneio Open 2015), one of two Olympic-qualifying meets for the country of Brazil, took place in Palhoca, Santa Catarina tonight. After just one swimmer hit an Olympic A time in an individual event on Wednesday, seven stepped up this morning to hit the mark in prelims.
As a reminder, Brazil will select its team based solely on FINA’s rules for Olympic rosters, rather than adding extra time standards, as the nation has done in its past. Brazil will bring up to two swimmers per event who have hit FINA’s “A” standard. If no swimmer hits the “A” time, Brazil will bring one swimmer with a “B” time. The Brazilian Swimming Federation also has a framework in place to add extra relay swimmers and to adjust the roster as it sees fit to compose the best roster for the Olympics the nation will host next summer.
Event: Women’s 50 breaststroke FINAL/Men’s 50 breaststroke FINAL
FINA A Cut- N/A
FINA B Cut- N/A
Although not an Olympic event, the 50 breaststroke got the crowd warmed up with tight races in both the men’s and women’s competitions tonight. Jhennifer Conceicao out-touched Ana Carvalho 31.17 to 31.37 in the women’s event. That time places Conceicao eighth and Carvalho tenth in the world rankings for this season.
On the men’s side, the tight race came among Joao Gomes Jr., Felipe Lima, and Felipe Silva. Gomes out-finished the pair of Felipes, hitting in 27.18, followed by Lima in 27.26 and Silva in 27.36. The trio scored the third, fourth, and fifth fastest times in the world rankings, only outdone by Cameron Van Der Burgh and Adam Peaty’s times from the FINA World Cup Series.
Gomes was unshaved for this win, and reportedly will be shaving for the 100 breast tomorrow.
Event: Women’s 200 free FINAL
FINA A Cut- 1:58.96
FINA B Cut- 2:03.13
1 Qualifier from Finals: Manuella Lyrio (1:58.43)
Manuella Lyrio, the South American record-holder in this event, most likely punched her ticket to her home Rio Olympics in the 200 free, dropping nearly a second from her prelims time to clock 1:58.43. Her swim was half a second under the FINA ‘A’ mark. With that, she cracks the world top 25, tying for 20th with Jazmin Carlin. Jessica de Bruin (a distant cousin of Dutch sprint diva Inge de Bruijn) finished second, hitting a personal best, but not quite making the ‘A’ cut with a 1:59.77. Teen Maria Heitmann grabbed the bronze with a personal best 2:00.24.
Another possible contender for the Olympic spots (given the relays, there are a lot more chances to make the team in the freestyle events) was fourth place Rafaela Raurich, a fifteen-year-old who finished in 2:00.67, well under the ‘B’ cut.
“I always dreamed of competing in the Olympics,” Raurich said, roughly translated, “It will not be easy, I need to tweak a few things, and I know what I need to improve. I’m anxious, but happy.”
Event: Men’s 200 free FINAL
FINA A Cut- 1:47.97
FINA B Cut- 1:51.75
2 Qualifiers from Prelims: Nicolas Oliveira (1:47.09) and Joao de Lucca (1:47.81)
This morning’s top qualifier, Nicolas Oliveira, scratched the final after rocketing to a 1:47.09 ‘A’ time in prelims. He is probably taking the night to rest for the 100 free tomorrow. No swimmers hit the ‘A’ mark tonight, but first-place finisher Joao de Lucca made the time this morning with a 1:47.81 in prelims. Tonight, with the pressure of hitting the Olympic standard nullified, de Lucca finished in 1:48.38, followed by Luiz Melo in 1:48.98 and Giovanny Lima in 1:49.31. The field looked like they were all marking de Lucca’s pace, a second behind his prelims swim, which caused many of the swimmers to finish a bit behind where they should have.
Oliveira keeps his 8th place world ranking, and de Lucca stays at 12th.
Event: Women’s 100 backstroke FINAL
FINA A Cut- 1:00.25
FINA B Cut- 1:02.36
The South American record holder in this event, Etiene Medeiros, will have to try again for the ‘A’ standard at the Maria Lenk Trophy in 2016. After just missing the cut with 1:00.31 in prelims, she gained a tiny bit of time, going 1:00.48 to win the final. Her prelims time places her at 11th in the world this season. This setback, and the upcoming taper for her second try at the ‘A’ cut at the Maria Lenk meet in April, may put a damper on Medeiros’s training for the 2016 season.
All of that said, she finished well ahead of the competition. Second place went to Natalia de Luccas in 1:02.21, and fifteen-year-old Maria Pessanha finished third in 1:03.51
Event: Men’s 100 backstroke FINAL
FINA A Cut: 54.36
FINA B Cut: 56.26
1 Qualifier from Prelims: Guilherme Guido (53.41)
1 Qualifier from Finals: Guilherme Guido (53.09, South American Record)
Guilherme Guido set a new South American record (and a new Brazilian record) in the 100 backstroke, speeding up his FINA ‘A’ qualifying swim from this morning and dropping over three-tenths from 53.41 to 53.09. The previous record was also held by Guido, a 53.12 relay lead-off from this summer’s Pan Am Games. He is now the fourth-fastest 100 backstroker in the world this season, bumping Japan’s Ryosuke Irie down to fifth.
Guido pushed well ahead of the field from his first breakout off the start. He split a 25.9 at the wall and never looked back.
Following Guido but just missing the ‘A’ cut were Daniel Orzechowski (54.59) and Henrique Machado (54.90)
Event: Women’s 100 fly FINAL
FINA A Cut: 58.74
FINA B Cut: 1:00.80
Daynara de Paula took the win in the women’s 100 fly, just missing the ‘A’ cut with a 58.98. That swim also places her just outside the world top 25. Daiene Dias took the silver in 59.21, followed by Clarissa Rodrigues in 1:00.75.
De Paula’s swim was definitely a letdown. She has gone faster than today’s finals swim multiple times in season.
Event: Men’s 100 fly FINAL
FINA A Cut: 52.36
FINA B Cut: 54.19
3 Qualifiers from Prelims: Marcos Macedo (52.17), Henrique de Souza Martins (52.25), Nicholas Santos (52.31)
2 Qualifiers from Finals: Henrique de Souza (52.14) and Marcos Macedo (52.34)
It gets interesting in the men’s 100 fly. Per the Brazilian selection standards, the team will only take two swimmers to swim each individual event (which is actually a rule across the board). Since three swimmers qualified this morning, and more may make the cut at Maria Lenk, Brazil will have to choose two to bring to Rio. Presumably, they will take the two fastest for the individual event and then make the call among the two to decide who swims the 400 medley relay.
After prelims and finals today, Henrique de Souza Martins holds the fastest Brazilian time of the meet with his first-place finals swim of 52.14. Marcos Macedo is close behind with a 52.17 from prelims this morning, while Nicholas Santos trails third with a 52.31 from prelims this morning. As it stands, Martins and Macedo most likely have the spots, unless Santos or any other swimmer can get in between or ahead of them at Maria Lenk. This puts both Martins and Macedo in an interesting position where they have to decide whether to sit Maria Lenk out and see if anyone jumps ahead of them or tamper with their training by tapering for Maria Lenk to try to stay ahead of the field.
In the world rankings, Martins now stands 6th, followed by Macedo at 7th; Santos is 10th.
Tonight in finals, Martins hit first with 52.14, followed by Macedo with 52.34 and Lucas Salatta, who missed the ‘A’ mark with 52.51. Santos was sixth in finals, adding to his prelim time to swim 52.77.
Event: Women’s 400 IM FINAL
FINA A Cut: 4:43.46
FINA B Cut: 4:53.38
1 Qualifier from Prelims: Joanna Maranhao (4:40.78)
1 Qualifier from Finals: Joanna Maranhao (4:41.82)
Joanna Maranhao stayed way ahead of the field, once again hitting the ‘A’ cut to swim a 4:41.82 in the 400 IM final. Florencia Perotti finished second in 4:50.31, followed by Bruna Primati in 4:52.68. Both Perotti and Primati dropped time from prelims to hit the ‘B’ standard.
After this performance, Maranhao has possibly the safest bet at the Olympic team out of all the swimmers at this meet. It would be a huge deal for another Brazilian female swimmer to hit under 4:50, much less could two swimmers jump up ahead to edge Maranhao out of her spot. She currently holds the Brazilian record, a 4:38.07. Maranhao’s swim from this morning sets her at 12th in the world this season. This will be her fourth Olympic games.
“I love this race in a way I can not explain,” she said, roughly translated, “I can even get a little nervous at first, but when I’m ahead of the pack I feel an immense happiness.”
Event: Men’s 400 IM FINAL
FINA A Cut: 4:16.71
FINA B Cut: 4:25.69
1 Qualifier from Finals: Brandonn Almeida (4:14.07, Junior World Record)
Brandonn Almeida clearly took it easy this morning, as tonight he dropped 16 seconds from his prelim swim to hit an ‘A’ cut in finals, 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. That swim places him fourth in the world rankings for this season.
Almeida swam very strong fly and back 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.
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.