The squad from Flamengo came into the final day of the 2012 Jose Finkel Trophy, Brazil’s short course National Championship meet, with a small lead, and despite a valiant effort on Saturday evening, their lack of distance swimmers bit them.
Flamengo started out the session very well. In the women’s 100 backstroke, although National Record holder Fabiola Molina took the win for Minas in 58.88, Flamengo won the event thanks to a runner-up finish from Australian mercenary Kelly Stubbins (59.67) and a third-place result from Etiene de Medeiros (59.88).
In the men’s 100 backstroke, neither team had much of a presence, but Leonardo de Deus was 3rd in 52.43 for 25 big points.
That men’s 100 back was dominated by the squad from Pinheiros, as they moved into third with 5 finalists in the race. That includes a very good 50.57 win from Guilherme Guido, giving him a 50-100 backstroke double.
Flamengo again put even more space between themselves and Minas after the 50 butterflies. In the men’s race, there was a bit of an upset as Nicholas dos Santos (22.22) knocked off Cesar Cielo (22.40), the defending long course World Champion in the event. After Cielo has been so phenomenal at this meet, I think that most expected him to take the win here, but Dos Santos is lethal in the event as well. He’s actually the National Record holder, and missed that time by just .05 seconds. The mark still is the 14th best swim of all time.
Overall, though, the event was a win-win for Flamengo: both swimmers represent the red and black.
In the women’s 50 fly, Inge Dekker made some back after a lackluster 100 free on Friday by taking a narrow win over Australia’s Marieke Guehrer. Dekker’ s 25.65 was a new Meet Record, picking up significant bonus points. But right behind her, Guehrer touched in 25.72 for 2nd for Flamengo, and Daynara de Paula was 3rd in 26.00, also for Flamengo, effectively negating the victory.
But then, in an otherwise ho-hum men’s 800 free, the last individual event of the meet, Minas made their big move. They took the 2nd-through-5th spots, while Flamengo failed to score a single point, allowing Minas to pull within 25 points.
That was all the closer they needed to be; their women’s relay cleared the National Record for massive relay record bonus points, and when Flamengo’s men failed to match that (their records are much, much tougher), the final result was set in stone. With roughly 50% more women’s points than their rivals, Minas grabbed a narrow victory.
1) Minas Tênis – 2333,5
2) Flamengo – 2314,5
3) Corinthians – 1843
4) Pinheiros – 1812 pontos.