D’Artagnan Dias contributed to this report.
The 44th annual José Finkel Trophy is slated to begin Monday, August 17th at the indoor pool of Esporte Clube Pinheiros in São Paulo and some of the biggest names in Brazilian swimming are set to compete. 377 participants across 39 clubs appear on the start lists, including Nicholas Santos, Etiene Medeiros, Thiago Pereira and Bruno Fratus. Olympic champion Cesar Cielo will be absent due to his shoulder injury which caused him to pull out of the world championships last week.
The meet has typically been held in short course meters, but -as with the FINA World Cup- has changed to long course meters in light of the 2016 Rio Olympics, now just a year away.
Fresh off of his 50m butterfly silver medal from Worlds, Nicholas Santos is scheduled to swim the 50m and 100m butterfly events, as well as the 50m and 100m freestyle races at the meet. Joao De Lucca, the men’s 200m freestyle champion at this year’s Pan American Games, has three freestyle races on his docket at the Finkel Trophy. He will be contesting the 50m, 100m and 200m distances. For his part, rising sprinter Matheus Santana is carrying a full schedule of events, including the 50m/100m/200m freestyles and the 50m butterfly.
Etiene Medeiros, the 2015 FINA World Championships silver medalist in the women’s 50m backstroke, is also one to watch at the Trophy. Look for her to compete in the 50m and 100m backstroke races, as well as the 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle events.
Club Tennis Minas is gunning for its fifth consecutive Finkel Trophy team victory. With the meet title being a hugely sought after prize among the clubs, Minas has enlisted foreign athletes to help with its quest. Australian swimmers Taylor McKeown and Prentice Neale will both be representing the club in competition. McKeown won a bronze medal in Kazan as part of Australia’s 4x100m medley relay, while Neale earned bronze in the 200m breaststroke at 2014’s Pan Pacific Championships.