Brazil’s long course national championships – known as the Maria Lenk Trophy – kicked off this morning in Rio de Janeiro, with rising star Etiene Medeiros headlining.
Medeiros, 23, took the top seed in the women’s 100 back, coming within seven tenths of the South American record with a 1:00.76. Medeiros broke the continental 50 back record back in December, and should have a shot to take down the 100 mark in tonight’s final.
In the men’s 100 back, Vito Guaraldo is the top qualifier, posting a 55.00, but he’ll be chased hard by veteran Thiago Pereira, who was 55.03. Guilherme Augusto (55.27) is also within striking distance.
Further back in that race, 1997-born Guilherme Dias Masse made the qualifying time for Junior Worlds, dropping his personal best from a 57.21 to a 55.87.
The Junior World Championships are limited to boys age 15-18 and girls age 14-17, with each swimmer’s age calculated as of the end of this year (December 31, 2015). Essentially, that means the meet is open to boys born from 1997-2000 and girls born from 1998-2001.
Two junior girls made the Junior Worlds cut in the 200 free, the biggest event for Brazil in national qualifying in the early goings. Maria Paula Heitmann (born in 1999) was 2:02.37, cutting 1.6 seconds off her best and qualifying 4th while making the cut. Meanwhile Rafaela Raurich (born in 2000) was just a tick off her personal best, but still went 2:03.10 for the 10th spot and a Junior Worlds cut.
Larissa Oliveira leads that event at 2:01.21, with Jessica de Bruin just .02 back of her.
Meanwhile Nicolas Oliveira is the top qualifier in the men’s 200 free, going 1:47.93. He’ll lead in a field that includes Joao de Lucca (1:48.62 and 2nd) and three other men under 1:50.
Qualifying 6th was Felipe Ribeiro de Souza (born in 1998), who barely snuck under the Junior Worlds cut. His 1:50.24 was a single hundredth under the cut and was a drop of one second from his best.
Tonight’s final will feature the 200 free and 100 back, plus the women’s 1500 free and both 4×50 free relays.