Outside of the sprint events, Friday in Rio at the 2013 Maria Lenk Trophy saw by far the best performance of Brazil’s National Championship meet, and second round of World Championship qualifying.
There, in the men’s 200 IM, Henrique Rodrigues from Pinheiros and Thiago Pereira from SESI locked toe-to-toe, and in what has to be classed as an upset, Rodrigues won in 1:57.37, with Pereira 2nd in 1:57.48. Both times are easily good enough for the World Championships in Barcelona. Those times rank them 2nd-and-3rd in the world this year, respectively, making Brazil stunningly home to easily the best 1-2 200 IM punch thus far in 2013.
In the men’s 50 fly, what seemed like an upset, but in reality probably wasn’t Nicholas dos Santos won the 50 fly in 23.05, followed by Cesar Cielo in 23.16. Those both rank in the top 5 in the world in 2013. Cielo is the defending World Champion in the event, though with his lightning-fast start and pure strength, the 33-year old Dos Santos has every tool to take that title this year.
Interesting to note: three of the top five-ranked swimmers in the world so far in this 50 fly this year are Fred Bousquet (32), Dos Santos (33), and South African Roland Schoeman (32). It would be an impossible task to prove, but one would imagine that this is probably the first time at any significant point in swimming history that three of the top five in the world in any given event were 32 or older.
Dutch swimmer Inga Dekker, for Minas Tenis, won the women’s 50 fly in 25.99, with Daynara de Paula 2nd in 26.34.
The 400 freestyles were fairly underwhelming. Carolina Bilich won the women’s race (another victory for Minas) in 4:14.99, followed be Ana Marcela de Jesus in 4:15.60. Another Dutch swimmer, Federike Heemskerk, was 3rd in 4:16.48.
The men’s race was a little better with Argentine Juan Pereyra the official champion in 3:54.10, followed by Marcos Oliveira in 3:54.26: both representing Minas as well. The fastest overall time of the day was Martin Naidich, another Argentine, in prelims with a 3:52.66. After breaking South American Records earlier in this meet in the 800 and 1500 freestyles, he couldn’t hit his best time in this 400.
Joanna Maranhao won the women’s 200 IM in 4:14.29, which was two seconds slower than her own National Record. Samantha Salinas was 2nd in 2:18.54.
Top 4 team standings:
1. Minas Tenis, 1816
2. Pinheiros, 1251
3. Corinthians, 1147
4. SESI, 740