RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, September 23. THE American quartet of Adam Mania, Mike Alexandrov, Eugene Godsoe and Josh Schneider defeated a superstar quartet from Australia to win the inaugural Fast Lane meet, featuring 50-meter swims in each of the four strokes and a 200 medley relay.
The event featured two brackets of competition, with the Americans and Brazilians facing off in each event, and the Australians and French doing battle in the other bracket. The country that won each bracket moved on to compete in the finals for overall bragging rights — and nearly $25,000 to split among the four athletes.
The meet started with competition between the United States and Brazil. Adam Mania of the United States defeated Brazil's Daniel Orzechowski in the 50 backstroke by the slimmest of margins, 25.51 to 25.52. Brazil fought back to win the 50 breaststroke, as Felipe Lima touched in 27.60 to Mike Alexandrov's 28.05. Gabriel Mangabeira of Brazil defeated USA's Eugene Godsoe in the 50 butterfly, 24.34 to 24.94. Bruno Fratus, fourth in the 50 free in the Olympics, had no trouble dispatching Josh Schneider in the 50 freestyle with a winning time of 23.45 to Schneider's 24.35. Schneider just recently won more than $10,000 in a similar head-to-head competition at the RCP Tiburon Sprint Classic.
In the final event of the USA-Brazil bracket, the Americans won the 200 medley relay in 1:38.68, with Brazil touching in 1:39.33. With the winning team of each event scoring one point for each individual victory and three points for winning the relay in preliminary competition, the United States defeated Brazil 4-3 and moved on to the finals.
In the first event of the Australia-France bracket, Daniel Armamnart of Australia got the better of France's Dorian Gandin, 25.43 to 26.58. Giacoma Dortona of France was barely able to beat Australia's Matt Abood in the 50 breast, touching in 28.77 to Abood's 28.88. Matt Targett of Australia, a two-time runner-up in the 50 fly at the world championships, beat former Auburn teammate Fred Bousquet in the 50 fly with a 24.73. Bousquet touched in 24.81. Olympic champion Florent Manaudou had a close call in the 50 free, beating Australia's James Magnussen by one tenth of a second, 24.39 to 24.49.
With the score tied 2-2 after the individual swimming races, the 200 medley relay would decide the better team today between Australia and France. Australia won the relay over France with a 1:39.15 to France's 1:39.69. With the relay win, Australia won their prelim bracket with a score of 5-2 and advanced to the finals.
After a brief break, the finals bracket between the United States and Australia got underway, and scores started at zero each. Mania won the 50 backstroke against Armamnart with a 26.40, while Armamnart was disqualified. Alexandrov, a two-time Olympian for Bulgaria in the 100 breast, was able to defeat Abood, known primarily for his sprint freestyle prowess, in the 50 breast, 28.81 to 29.26. After two events, the United States was leading the Australians 2-0.
In the 50 butterfly, Targett won the event with a 23.88 over Godsoe's 24.11, cutting the Americans' points lead down to 2-1. The 50 freestyle tied the score at 2-2, as Magnussen beat Schneider 23.79 to 24.50.
The 200 medley relay would decide which team would get to split US$25,000 as the overall winner. The United States was able to take the relay and overall victory with a time of 1:38.07 to Australia's 1:38.58. With a final score of 5-2, the American foursome shared the US$25,000 prize, while Australia took home about US$12,500 in winnings.
It was not clear if France or Brazil was deemed the third-best team in the meet, but one country would get to share US$7,500 in winnings, while the other would win US$5,000, according to meet information.
Felipe Lima won a special prize as the athlete who posted the swim with the highest FINA point rankings, with his 27.60 in the 50 breast, good enough for 958 FINA points. It equaled his best time of the year, which he did last April.