Brazil’s Blog do Coach has revealed the international inscriptions for the 2014 Maria Lenk Trophy, and as usual, they will be loaded with star female internationals.
The men’s list, as so far announced, won’t have nearly the same level of talent, but the women’s teams will be loaded.
The business of hiring foreign mercenaries to swim at Maria Lenk is big business in Brazilian swimming. There, most of the teams are connected to larger athletics clubs and even soccer clubs, so the brand recognition of taking the team titles is a valuable one to the winners.
This year’s list will include:
- Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, Corinthians
- Jeanette Ottesen, Denmark, Corinthians
- Femke Heemskerk, Netherlands, Minas Tenis
- Inge Dekker, Netherlands, Minas Tenis
- Florencia Perotti, Argentina, Gremio Nautico Unico
- Julia Sebastian, Argentina, Unisanta
- Crox Acuna, Venezuela, Alvares Cabral
These foreigners are especially valuable because they are capable of swimming multiple times faster than South American Records: records that come with huge bonus points. Femke Heemskerk, for example, who is a veteran of these meets, routinely clears records, but doesn’t actually have to go a best time to swim faster than them.
That gives the four-event World Record holder Hosszu the potential for huge scoring. In a six-day meet, Hosszu’s potential event schedule (she’s been known to swim double-digit event schedules lately in just two-or-three days meets) could be a back-breaker in the team title. Between her and Ottesen, they should rival Minas Tenis’ women’s group, who are much stronger in their domestic lineup.
What’s more, Alex Pussielidi, author of Blog do Coach, says that this meet will be “her first taper since the World Championships.” A tapered Hosszu in a 6-day meet with a full schedule is a scary thought.
The meet runs from April 21st through 26th at the Ibirapuera Pool in São Paulo while the Maria Lenk swim stadium undergoes upgrades and repairs ahead of the 2016 Olympics.
D’Artagnan Dias contributed to this report.