We’re less than a month away from Brazil’s annual sprint format showdown meet, and Bruno Fratus has already been named as one of the four members of a home team looking to win its third consecutive title.
The Raia Rapida meet is part of a new breed of sprint-based format meets built to be a spectator spectacle. The meet features four different nations, each with a 4-man roster. The event lineup features just 5 events – long course 50s of fly, back, breast and free, plus a 4×50 medley relay.
But the meet itself stretches out over about an hour with a series of elimination rounds in each stroke. Each nation enters one swimmer per stroke. All four entrants compete, with the 4th-place finisher eliminated in the first round. In round 2, the remaining three competitors show down with the third-place finisher booted. Then the two remaining swimmers compete for the event title in the final round.
After all three rounds of all four 50-meter races, each nation’s quartet team up for a 4×50 medley relay race to close the meet.
The winner of each event gets 3 points for their nation. Second place takes 2 points, third 1 and the first swimmer eliminated in each event gets no points. The relay scores the same points for 1st through 4th place.
Since its inception in 2012, the meet has featured some of the world’s top sprinters and a rotating cast of nations. Brazil and the United States have been mainstays of the lineup since the inaugural meet. France and Australia have competed in years past, but last year it was South Africa and Italy filling the other two spots.
Participating nations and swimmers haven’t been officially named yet, but Fratus tweeted a promo showing himself as one of the members of Team Brazil. The 28-year-old has been pushed aside a bit by his federation, which is looking to groom younger athletes, but was Brazil’s most successful swimmer at the 2017 World Championships, winning silver medals in the 50 free and 4×100 free relay.
— Bruno Fratus (@BFratus) September 20, 2017
Brazil has racked up three straight titles in this meet stretching back to 2014. The 2017 meet will take place on October 15 at Brazil’s historic Maria Lenk Aquatic Center.