On the 4th day of the 2012 Jose Finkel Trophy in Brazil, also known as the Short Course National Championships, the first final of the night was the best final of the night.
In the men’s 200 fly, World Record holder Kaio Almeida faced off against Brazil’s master of the 200 anything Thiago Pereira. Almeida had the lead at the halfway mark, but undeterred Pereira fought back and took the lead at the final turn. As is often his Achilles’ heel, however, Pereira couldn’t hold on in the final 50 meters, and Almeida just snuck by him for the win in 1:52.44. Pereira was 2nd in 1:52.56.
Pereira came back and dominated the men’s 100 IM in 52.64. That swim is just three-tenths from his National Record.
Very little action happened in the team battle on Thursday, as neither Almeida’s Fluminese squad nor Pereira’s Corinthians team is in the hunt for the team battle here.
Not every race was outside the realm of the trophy, though. Flamengo’s Etiene Medeiros pulled off a big upset over National Record holder Fabiola Molina of Minas 26.94-27.28. This is a fitting passing-of-the-torch as Molina has indicated that the end of her career is near at the age of 37, with her desire to start a family weighing heavily.
In the men’s version of the 50 back, Pinheiros’ Guilherme Guido pulled his team well out into the 3rd place position with a 23.38. He already broke the Brazilian and South American Records in the prelims of the race at 23.31, though this swim was better than the old records coming into the meet. Daniel Orzechowski was 2nd in 23.87, and should join him at the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul.
In semi-final action, Cesar Cielo led four swimmers under 48 seconds with a 47.42 for the top seed. He’ll certainly have much faster than that in the finals, and should easily push into the 46-second range. Nicolas Oliveira (47.56), Fernando do Santos (47.82), and Nicholas dos Santos (47.93) joined him into the A-final.
Larissa Oliveira became just the second Brazilian woman under 54 seconds in the semi-finals of the women’s race with a 53.97, followed by Graciele Hermann in 54.24. The two Australians, Marieke Guehrer and Kelly Stubbins (54.56 and 54.51, respectively) are also into the final. They will have a chance to make up big ground for their team against the lone Minas finalist: Dutch swimmer Inge Dekker (54.64).
Team standings with three days to go:
2. Flamengo 1302.50
3. Pinheiros 1037.50
4. Corinthians 990