Day 4 at the 2011 Jose Finkel Trophy in Belo Horizonte was short on finals (only two sets of individual finals and one set of relay finals were swum), but the semi-final races might have been the most interesting of the whole week.
First, for the medal winners on the day, the women’s 200 fly was taken by Flamengo’s Joanna de Maranhao in 2:12.44, which is close to her best time of the year. She out-touch American Kim Vandenberg (2:12.75), who’s representing the home-team Minas in this meet. In the men’s race, butterfly star Kaio Almeida, who’s in gearing-up mode for Pan Ams, swam a solid in-season 1:58.75 to take the win.
In the men’s 50 backstroke, Pinheiros showed their brilliant backstroking by taking all three spots on the medal stand. Daniel Orzechowski didn’t quite match his performance from the semi-finals that placed him in the world’s top-25, but he did swim a 25.5 to take the victory. In 2nd was the man with whom Orzechowski will be battling for a medley relay spot in London, Guilherme Guido, in 25.92 for silver. Fabio Santi broke out his broom and completed the sweep by touching 3rd in 25.94, giving Pinheiros all three of the swimmers in this race under 26 seconds.
Minas’ Fabiola Molina continued to swim extremely well in this meet with her third event victory: this one in the women’s 50 backstroke. She knocked out a 28.34 to take a handy victory in the race, and just barely missed her season-best time (by .04) from the World Military Games in July. Etiene Medeiros, who was the top seed after the semi-finals, took silver in 28.93, which is not a great time for her, but she’s getting ready for Pan Am’s, so that’s no surprise.
If you saw that today’s semi-finals would include a swim from Cesar Cielo in a race where he’s the World Record holder, as well as a 50 breaststroke where Felipe Silva won the World Championship just a few short weeks ago, one might imagine that those two stole the show.
That would be incorrect, however, as Pinheiros’ Joao Gomes rocked the 50 breaststroke to the tune of 27.46, which moves him into 9th-place in the World Rankings. In the 100, which wrapped up yesterday, Gomes was much better in the early rounds and ran out of steam later. If he can correct that in the less-strenuous 50 meter race, he’s within two-tenths of the meet record that was set back in 2009 by Silva in a tech suit. If not, this final tightens up considerably, with the young Raphael Rodrigues taking the 2nd seed in 28.26, followed by the champ Silva in 28.28 and Felipe Lima (the swimmer in the position to break up another Pinheiros sweep) in 28.29.
But still, there was a Cesar Cielo swim on the day in the semi-finals of the men’s 100 freestyle. There, he took the 2nd seed in 50.43, which probably cut it closer than he thought it was going to (the finalists all fell between 50.3 and 50.8). If the 50 free – he loafed through semis there too – is an indicator of what’s to come in this 100, then look for at least a 48.4 in the finals.
The man who took the top seed ahead of Cielo is 21-year old Joao de Lucca in 50.36. None of the times from this semi-final are likely to hold up, so look at Nicolas Oliveira and Nicholas dos Santos to do some damage in the final as well. Absent from the final will be Bruno Fratus, who has pulled out of the meet with a shoulder injury.
The top seed in the women’s 100 free was taken by Tatiana Barbosa in 56.60, with Larissa Oliveira just behind in 56.79. The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker qualified for the final in 4th with a 57.29.
Full meet results are available here.
Borboleta = butterfly
Peito = breaststroke
Costas = backstroke
Livre = freestyle
Medley = IM
Balizamento = Start Lists
Resultado Final = Finals Results
Fem = Women’s
Masc = Men’s