Later this month Paraguay is set to host their second FINA approved event to qualify for the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, which is scheduled for July of 2017. This qualification event will take place in The National Aquatics Center (CAN) and scheduled to take place between the 22 and 25 of March.
This will be the second time Paraguay has hosted a FINA sanctioned event at the National Aquatics Center (CAN). Previously, the 2016 South American Aquatic Sports Championships were used qualify athletes for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Juan Carlos Orihuela, the President of Paraguayan Federation of Aquatic Sports confirmed that FINA approved the site and the water conditions met the standards in order for the qualification meet to be held.
This World Championship qualifying meet is classified as a Level “A” tournament. FINA representatives will be there to administer and ensure the strict anti-doping policy that will be in place.
According to ABC News Orihuela confirmed that two club teams from Brazil, Pinheiros and Minas will be present as well as teams from Argentina, Peru and Uruguay. Having this representation is important in the qualification meet too show a more diverse international presence.
Brazil will be looking to add more elite swimmers to their already powerful line-up. Some of those big Brazilian names include, Joanna Maranhao, Miguel Valente, Guilerme Augusto, Macareno Ceballos, and Brazil’s only Olympic Gold Medalist, Cesar Cielo. All of whom placed number one last year in their respective events at the 2016 Maria Lenk Trophy meet. The overall team scores show that the Pinheiros team finished first by a large margin with 1,642 points while club team Minas finished second with 899.5 points. The Maria Lenk Trophy is Brazil’s most beloved swim meet, named in honor of Maria Lenk who was the first South American female Olympic Athlete.
Paraguay’s primary focus will be to build their team to create a more substantial presence at the World Championships this year. Currently, Paraguay has five swimmers with “B” qualification times. These swimmers include Benjamin Hockin, Matias Lopez, William Vallejos, Karen Riveros, and Nicole Rautemberg.