Grabich & Quintero Square Off At South American Championships

XLIIICampeonatoSudamericano de Natación

  • Wednesday, March 30th – Sunday, April 3rd
  • CENTRO ACUÁTICO NACIONAL, Asunción, Paraguay
  • Prelims at 10am local/EDT; Finals at 6pm local/EDT
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Results

Approximately 400 swimmers representing 12 countries will be descending upon the National Aquatics Center in Asunción Paraguay to compete in the South American Championships. The swimming portion of the multi-aquatic discipline competition begins today, March 30th and runs through April 3rd, with the event acting as an Olympic-qualifying opportunity for some of the attending nations.

Venezuela is bringing a squad of familiar names, as Cristian Quintero, Andreina Pinto and Carlos Claverie are all slated to compete in Paraguay over the next several days.

For Quintero, he’ll be facing Argentine speedster Federico Grabich on several occasions.  The two freestyle studs will see quite a bit of each other throughout the meet, as they’re each scheduled to swim the 50m/100m/200m freestyle races, with Quintero also adding the 400m into his racing portfolio in Paraguay.

In the sprint free events, Grabich tops the field with his incoming seed times of 22.25 in the 50m free, 48.11 in the 100m free and 1:47.43 in the 20m free, all of which are FINA A cuts for Rio. For his part, Quintero has a little work to do to obtain his Olympic-qualifying marks, sitting as the 4th seed in the 50m free in 22.74, 4th in the 100m free in 49.07 and 2nd in the 200m free in 1:47.88.

Quintero’s highest seed is in the 400m freestyle where enters the meet with a solid 3:50.89, less than half a second off of the FINA A cut of 3:50.44 needed to automatically qualify in the event.

Young gun Claverie will be making his mark on 4 individual events, highlighted by his signature 200m breaststroke race. The 20-year-old heads into the meet as the top seed by about half a second in the event, holding a FINA A cut of 2:10.86 from the Arena Pro Swim Series in Minneapolis last November. That time ranks Claverie as 16th in the world right now. The University of Louisville swimmer will also tackle the 200m IM, 50m breast and 100m breast races while in Asunción.

Pinto is putting on her best ‘Iron Lady’-esque performance taking on a monster schedule which includes the 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 400m IM and 800m freestyle events. Pinto already holds FINA A cuts in the 400m free and 800m free events in times of 4:08.67 and 8:31.08, respectively. Her next best chance of acquiring an automatic Olympic-qualifying time is in the 200m butterfly, where her seed time of 2:09.51 sits less than 2 tenths of a second off of the FINA A cut of 2:09.33.

A host of Brazilian swimmers will also be sprinkled among the events, including World Junior Record Holder Brandonn Almeida. The young star is set to swim the 800m freestyle, 400m IM and 1500m freestyle, giving him some good additional tune-up racing prior to the Maria Lenk Trophy, assuming he participates in that meet.

Leonardo De Deus, Joanna Maranhao, Henrique Rodriquez and Etiene Medeiros are just a few of the other Brazilian stars set to throw down in Asunción in the name of trying for FINA A cuts and acquiring additional racing experience in the lead-up to Rio.

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Grabich represents Argentina, not Venezuela.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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