PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil, December 19. BRAZILIAN athletes began their journey toward qualifying for the 2014 Pan Pacific championships last night with the opening day of the long course Brazil Open, featuring world championships competitors Nicholas Santos, Guilherme Guido, Poliana Okimoto and Daynara Paula. This is the first of several meets the Brazilian swimming federation is allowing athletes to use to post qualifying times for the Pan Pacific championships, with the Maria Lenk Trophy meet in April the biggest meet on the schedule.
Though the meet appears to be a straightforward prelims/finals competition, the morning session is being billed as the Daltely Guimaraes Trophy, with the evening session simply called “the Open Tournament.” Santos put up some fast swimming in the 50 fly, winning with a 22.95. Santos was fourth at the world championships in the 50 fly with a 23.01, but had posted a 22.81 in semifinals. Incidentally, Santos’ time in Brazil last night would have beaten countryman Cesar Cielo for gold at the world championships. Santos had clear water as Felipe de Souza was second with a 23.97 and Filipe Nunes took third with a 24.11.
Felipe Silva, the 2011 world champion in the men’s 50 breaststroke, won today with a 27.03. Silva was unable to qualify for the 2013 world championship team, but looks to be in fine form. His time today would have placed third in Barcelona. Joao Gomes and Felipe Lima, both of whom represented Brazil in this event at worlds, were second and third last night with times of 27.40 and 27.68, respectively.
Okimoto, the Swimming World Magazine female open water swimmer of the year, won the 800 free with an 8:47.28 over Carolina Bilich’s 8:49.66 and Bianca Avella’s 8:53.20.
Fernando Pires had the lead after 50 meters in the final of the men’s 100 backstroke, but couldn’t hold off Guido, who won with a 54.82 to Pires’ 54.92. Henrique Rodrigues was third with a 55.09. Further down on the results list was 400 IM Olympic silver medalist Thiago Pereira, who tied for fifth with Vitor Guaraldo with a 56.00.
Etiene Medeiros won the women’s 100 back with a time of 1:01.48, just missing out on qualifying for the Pan Pacific championships. She finished nearly a second ahead of Natalia de Luccas, who posted a 1:02.40. Florencia Perotti was third with a 1:03.60.
Paula took the women’s 50 fly with a 26.57, beating the Pan Pac qualifying time. Bruna Lemos and Dandara Antonio tied for second with times of 27.16.
Carolina Bergamaschi got under the Pan Pacific qualifying time in the women’s 50 breaststroke with a 31.83 for the win. In placing second, Beatriz Travalon tied the qualifying time with a 32.00, and Ana Carvalho was third with a 32.07.
Lucas Kanieski won the men’s 1500 free with a 15:28.35, with Marcos Ferrari placing second with a 15:29.22 and Luiz Arapiraca finishing third with a 15:33.67.