Brazil Has Still Never Had an Olympian in the Women’s 200 Back


Brazil’s 2016 Rio qualifying meet, the Maria Lenk Trophy, has just concluded and Brazil has once again fallen short on qualifying a swimmer in the Women’s 200 Backstroke for the Olympics. This is the only Olympic swimming event in which Brazil has never had an athlete race at the Olympics.

Natalie de Luccas won the event at this year’s Maria Lenk Trophy with relative ease with a time of 2:13.91. The FINA ‘A’ Standard in the event is a 2:10.60, meaning that despite winning handily, de Luccas still missed the qualifying time by over three seconds. Florencia Perotti finished second in the event with a time of 2:16.18 followed by Beatriz Silva who touched in a time of 2:16.22.

Brazil has competed in 22 Olympic Games and has yet to even come close to the current FINA ‘A’ Standard in the women’s 200 Backstroke. The Brazilian record in the event was swam in 2015 at the Pan American Games by Joanna Maranhāo in a time of 2:12.05. Natalie de Luccas’ personal best of 2:12.09 comes closer to the record time.

Given that two of the country’s great female swimmers in history, Etienne Medeiros and Fabiola Molina, were both backstrokers, but focused more on the sprint distances.

Unlike for the London Games, Brazilian swimmers only have two competitions in which they are eligible to compete for a place on the Olympic team. The two trials are called the Open Tournament, and the previous and only other chance for Brazilian swimmers to Qualify for Rio was in December in Palhoca at the Brazil Open. At the Brazil Open, de Luccas also won the event in a time of 2:12.44, faster than what she swam at the Maria Lenk Trophy, but still about two seconds away from the coveted FINA ‘A’ Standard. Despite de Luccas falling short on hopes of being the first woman swimmer to qualify in the 200 Backstroke, she is still the only swimmer in the field from Brazil to swim a FINA ‘B’ Standard time at the Maria Lenk Trophy.

This event is not Brazil’s only disappointment, as the world was shocked to witness Cesar Cielo, the world record holding sprinter, fail to qualify for the Rio Games as well.

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About Aaron Schwartz

Aaron Schwartz

Aaron Schwartz Aaron Schwartz has been swimming since age 10 at CCAT Club Team. Although he's dabbled with many events, he prides himself as being a sprint breastroker and freestyler. He has always been interested in technology, and wants to attend the Goizueta Business School At Emory University. At Emory, Aaron …

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