Paraguay’s Olympic flag-bearer Benjamin Hockin Brusquetti picked up a pair of wins on the first day of the South American Championships.
Hockin, who competed for Great Britain in the 2008 Olympics before switching over to Paraguay for the 2012 Games, won the first and last individual events of the day. He went 24.25 in the 50 fly to open up the day with a win, just getting to the wall before Brazil’s Guilherme Guido (24.27). He returned to go 1:48.80 to top the 200 free, a few tenths faster than Argentina’s Federico Grabich (1:49.13).
No South American records went down on day 1, but two swimmers did come very close in the men’s 800 free. Ecuador’s Esteban Enderica Salgado put up a 7:58.23 that was nearly ten seconds faster than his seed, and came within seven tenths of the continental record, which stands at 7:57.60. Second in that race was Argentina’s Martin Naidich, who was just over a second off the record at 7:58.70.
Ecuador made it a sweep of the longest events on the day. In the very next event after Salgado’s win, Samantha Arevalo Salinas picked up the women’s 400 free title, going 4:13.48.
The host nation won a couple of events, with Julia Sebastian winning the women’s 50 breast in a new Argentine record of 31.82 and Virginia Bardach taking gold in the women’s 200 IM at 2:15.56.
The most successful nation in terms of golds, though, was Brazil, which picked up three straight event wins through the middle of the session. First Fernando Ernesto Dos Santos went 2:00.65 to roll to a big win in the men’s 200 back. Then Daynara de Paula jumped in to go 59.76 and win the women’s 100 fly, with her teammate Etien Medeiros giving Brazil a 1-2 finish with a 1:00.13. Finally, Felipe Franca completed the trifecta by going 1:01.26 to win the 100 breast. That was another 1-2 punch for Brazil, with Joao Gomes Junior taking silver at 1:02.35.
The meet continues through Sunday night. You can find live results here.