Brazilian teammates Nicholas Santos and Cesar Cielo put together excellent swims in semifinals to capture the top two seeds in the men’s 50 fly. Santos and Cielo touched in 22.81 and 22.86, respectively, the top two times in the world in 2013. Although Cielo has been hampered by injuries over the last 18 months, his time was actually just off his textile record of 22.76, he looked spectacular during the race. As the world record holder in the men’s 50 and 100 freestyle and defending world champion in this event, it’s hard to pick anybody but Cielo in this one tomorrow, although Santos–who has the second fastest textile swim of all time (22.79)–and Yauhen Tsurkin will be right there to challenge.
The other big swim of the day came from Venezuela’s Andreina Pinto, who crushed her own national record in the women’s 400 free (4:08.45 from 2012), touching in 4:06.02 to sneak into the championship final. Pinto, who trains with Gregg Troy’s postgraduate group at the Gator Swim Club, is Venezuela’s first World Championship finalist since Albert Subirats back in 2009 in the 50 fly, and might be their first individual female finalist ever (if there is one, we couldn’t find it). Although she was slower in finals (4:07.12), Pinto moved up two spots to finish sixth overall.
Other notes on the region:
- Felipe Lima got through semifinals unscathed, tying with Nic Fink of the U.S. for fifth overall in 59.84.
- Despite the absence Cielo, who will not be a part of any relays in Barcelona, the Brazilian men still made the championship final, where they touched 7th overall.
- The Brazilian team of Larissa Oliviera, Daynara De Paula, Graciele Herrmann, and Alessandra Marchioro broke the South American record in the women’s 4×100 free relay, touching in 3:41.05. Although they missed out on the championship final, that’s a sign of good things to come for the Brazilian women, who are looking to develop their own core group of sprinters, as the men have done over the last five years. The old record was 3:41.49.
- Jorge Mario Murillo Valdez broke his own Columbian National Record (1:01.49 from 2009) in the men’s 100 breast, touching in 1:01.28 (26th overall)
- Erica Dittmer, who competes collegiately at Texas A&M, smashed her own Mexican National Record (2:16.39 from 2012), finishing in 2:14.93 (23rd overall)
- Peru’s Mauricio Fiol Villanueva broke his own Peruvian National Record (24.94 from 2012) in the men’s 50 fly, touching in 24.32 (35th overall)