The CBDA, in a private swim-off closed to media and spectators, has proclaimed Fernando Ernesto dos Santos as the second individual swimmer in the coveted 100 free spot, they announced in a press release. Dos Santos, who recently converted himself from a backstroker to a sprint freestyler, topped Nicolas Oliveira and will join Marcelo Chierighini to swim individually in the event.
The whole surroundings were a little bit shady; according to post-race comments by Oliveira, swimmers were not given their official times for the swim-off held in Barcelona, rather they were only told a placing.
The two had tied at the Maria Lenk Trophy, Brazil’s major selection meet, in 48.72.
While no official results were given, Alex Pussieldi, the most connected man in Brazilian swimming, leaked on his Blog to a Coach that both were 49-lows in the swim.
“I’m rooting for him to do the best for Brazil,” Oliveira said in Portuguese. “And I hope nobody ever has to go through this. It is very annoying. I was hit in the hand and I’m fine. Now I’m focusing on a good performance in the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays, and also in the 200m freestyle. I would rather an official result of time, but I trust the people involved.”
Scott Volkers, the coach of Oliveira, protested on his Facebook page:
Two athletes have to do a swim off 7 days before the World Championships. One has a coach there and one does not. The day of the swim off changes. The time of the swim off changes several times. The last one to know about this is the athlete with no coach of course. Anyway in the middle of a taper the time trial starts. (Remember this is only for the position in the World Championships after a tie in the National Championships in the event in May). Off they go…. Very close race. Both athletes were told they did 49.0. The clock did not work… So the coaches confer. And after being given the same time they said who won??? Any guesses for who they said…Not Nilo (Oliveira). They must have very good eyes. But congrats and best wishes to Fernando. The system fails yet again.
Volkers was referring to the fact that Dos Santos’ coach is on the World Championship staff, while Volkers is not. The coaches announced the decision after an internal discussion: one that apparently did not include Volkers.