By Marcio Menezes
RIO DE JANEIO, Brazil, May 8. DAY Four of the Brazilian Nationals had a few surprises and three South American records were broken.
Fabiola Molina and Rebecca Gusmao set records during prelims of the 100 meter backstroke, leading off the 4x 100 meters medley relay and 50m breast respectively, and Georgina Bardach broke the 200 fly mark during finals.
Here's a rundown of the day's events:
Women's 1500m freestyle
Nayara Ribeiro the national record-holder in this event (16.32.18), won the race with the time of 17.03.67 followed by Poliana Okimoto (17.16.80) and Monick Perez (17.41.79).
Men's 800m freestyle
Twenty-four years ago, Djan Madruga set the South American record in this event, which is the oldest South American record. Madruga's time of 7.59.85 was still untouchable after the 800 free final. Bruno Bonfim won the race with the time of 8.05.93. Luiz Lima was second with 8.07.45 and Felipe Araujo finished third with 8.13.27.
Women's 50m breast
During prelims, Rebecca Gusmao set her second South American record in three days when she clocked 32.69 on the 50 Breast. During final Rebecca took the gold with 32.73, followed by Mariana Katsuno (33.62) and Juliana Marin (33.63).
Men's 50m breast
Eduardo Fisher, the South American record holder in both 50 and 100 breast, came to the meet only to swim the 50 Breast after having a surgery three weeks ago. Fisher, who swam in the 2000 Olympics and has already made the cut for Athens in the 100 breast, was the favorite despite the surgery. However, Felipe Brandao dos Santos took the gold medal with the time of 28.82, followed by Cal's Henrique Barbosa (28.87). Fisher and Rogerio Karfunkelstein shared third place with 29.09.
Women's 200m fly
Georgina Bardach was the only swimmer to set a record during finals. After setting the continental record on the 400 IM on Friday, Georgina set a South American record on the 200 fly with the time of 2.12.73. Monique Ferreira (2.15.97) and Lilian Cerroni (2.20.19) were second and third respectively.
Men's 200m fly
Everyone was waiting for the men's 200 fly. Kaio Marcio, who made the Olympic cut at the Pan-American Games where he clocked 1.58.10, qualified first with the time of 1.58.95. Pedro Monteiro, who barely missed the cut in 2000 and is less then a second from the Athens cut (1.58.63), knew that he only had one more shot.
To everyone's surprise, neither Kaio nor Pedro touched the wall first. Gabriel Mangabeira, who smashed the South American record in the 100 fly two days earlier, won the race with the time of 1.59.94. Kaio Marcio was second (2.00.22) and Pedro Monteiro, who was very disappointed for not making the Olympic team, finished third (2.00.52).
Women's 400m medley relay
During prelims, Fabiola Molina broke the South American record in the 100 back with the time of 1.02.99. She will have to drop even more if she want to be in her second Olympic Games. The Olympic cut is 1.02.42.
In the finals, the top three teams were Pinheiros, UNAERP and UNISANTA.
Men's 400m medley relay
The top three teams were Minas Tenis Clube, UNISANTA, and AE Aguas Abertas.