Day 3 at the 2011 Jose Finkel Trophy came and went without too many surprises in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The country’s three most high-profile clubs, Minas, Flamengo, and Pinheiros, continued to pound away at the medal stands.
The first events of the day were the 400 freestyles. In the men’s race, Argentina’s Juan Pereyra won the men’s race in 3:56.79 to score 35 big points for the home team Minas Tenis. That’s his second win of the meet following an earlier victory in the 1500. The 31-year old continues to get better with age, as he recently pulled off an Argentine-Record triple in the 400/800/1500 freestyles in Shanghai. The top-finishing Brazilian was the young Lucas Kanieski, who is one of a rare-breed that specializes in the distance events in short course (and with the stomach to withstand all of those flipturns). He touched for silver in 3:58.60.
In the women’s version of the same race, it was Flamengo’s Joanna Maranhao who took the win, in the absence of Argentine swimmer Cecilia Biagioli, in 4:17.35.
The men’s 100 breaststroke was the most highly-anticipated final of the night after Joao Gomes took the Meet Record in the prelims but failed to take the 2nd Olympic spot away from Felipe Lima. This race was close at the turn, but Gomes was able to pull away on the back-half to take the win in 1:01.40, which was off of his 1:00.4 from the first round. Lima took silver in 1:02.23, but at the end of the meet still earned himself the last laugh (which is really more of a nervous chuckle) as he holds on to the 2nd position in Brazilian Olympic qualifying by .01. There’s still four qualifying meets to go, however, so this breaststroke situation is still in flux.
Behind those two was Henrique Barbosa, the South American Record holder, in 1:02.41. 50m World Champion Felipe Silva took 4th in 1:02.44 and 20-year old Raphael Rodrigues took 5th in 1:02.85; that pair, along with Gomes, gave Pinheiros three of the top 5 finishers in the race. Not to be overlooked is the 4th Pinheiros finalist, 18-year old Angelito Cassandra. He put up 1:02.8’s in each of the first two rounds, which for comparison would rank him in the top tier (4th) in the US Junior rankings in this race.
The women’s 100 breaststroke went more according to plan: this time the South American Record holder Tatiane Sakemi won the race in 1:12.17. The quality in the women’s breaststroke (as is true of most events in Brazil) definitely lies with the men.
The men’s 100 fly final was loaded with big names, though it didn’t quite live up to that hype. Gabriel Mangabeira swam a respectable 53.2 to take the gold, which is only two-tenths off of his season-best time. Behind him was middle-distance specialist Thiago Pereira in 53.59, which is a season-best for him. Henrique Martins, who was almost an Arizona Wildcat, took bronze in 53.62 to just out-touch Glauber Silva (53.67). The country’s best 100 butterflier, Kaio Almeida, was 6th in 53.99.
In the women’s 100 fly, backstroke star Fabiola Molina showed some versatility to pull off an upset win in the 100 fly in 1:00.40. That’s a career-best for her at this meet (she also did one in the 200 backstroke), which becomes all-the-more impressive at a National Championship meet when you consider that she’s 36 years old and that this was her second swim of the session. If she can continue the trend in the 100 backstroke and go another career-best there, it could push her under one minute for the first time in her career.
Daynara Paula, who was expected to win this race, took silver in 1:00.69 for a 1-2 Minas finish. Separated only by Daniele Jesus (1:01.00), Minas colors continued to fly with a 4th-place from Inge Dekker, a Dutch hire, in 1:01.55. This is obviously not a rest meet, or one that she’s taking too seriously, but I was hoping for a bit quicker for Dekker based on her 50 free.
In the first relay action of the meet, a fired-up Cesar Cielo swam Flamengo to victory on a brilliant 2nd-leg split of 21.36. He looks very geared up still, so many weeks after Worlds, and if this isn’t a premature 2nd-rest, then he could put up some very fast times at Pan Ams. Continued problems with the timing system made getting other splits a bit spotty on this relay, but Minas took second, nearly two seconds back, followed closely by Bruno Fratus and Pinheiros in 3rd.
In the women’s race, Pinheiros took the win led by a 25.4 anchor from the 31-year old veteran Michelle Lenhardt. The runners-up were Minas, with Dekker leading off in a 25.5 and American Kim Vandenberg anchoring in a 25.6 with speed that we haven’t seen from her in years.
The 50 backstrokes were the only semifinal in this morning’s session. Twenty-year old Etiene Medeiros surprised a bit to take the top seed in the women’s race in 28.99, though expect Fabiola Molina (29.16) to be much better in the final.
The men’s semi-final also had a bit of an upset, with Daniel Orzechowski swimming a 25.32 to take the top seed, only this one might stick, as that is the best time by a Brazilian this year. Guilherme Guido will be lurking though (he finished 9th in the world in this race in 2010, but has had a bad 2011 season) after a prelims time of 26.12.
Borboleta = butterfly
Peito = breaststroke
Costas = backstroke
Livre = freestyle
Medley = IM
Balizamento = Start Lists
Resultado Final = Finals Results
Fem = Women’s
Masc = Men’s