PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil, December 23. OLYMPIC and world champion Cesar Cielo showed up to the final day of racing at the Brazil Open, but scratched from the final of the 50 freestyle after posting a fast in-season time in prelims.
Cielo was the second-fastest qualifier for the 50 free final with a 21.92 behind compatriot Bruno Fratus, who swam a 21.82. Fratus, however, raced in the final and posted a 21.80 for his fastest time of the year. Fratus represented Brazil at the 2011 world championships and 2012 Olympics, but didn’t make the 2013 world team. For Cielo, his time today is well off the 21.30 he swam to win the world championship title in August, but still a respectable in-season swim.
The Brazil Open was just one of three opportunities for athletes to qualify for next summer’s Pan Pacific championships, with the Maria Lenk Trophy meet in April bound to be the bigger spectacle. The potential Brazilian roster for Pan Pacs did not see many names added to it after the Brazil Open, though Nicholas Santos and Leonardo de Deus posted times that are not likely to be beaten in the Maria Lenk meet.
In the final two days of competition, the top race of the meet outside of the men’s 50 free was the men’s 100 breast. For a few years, three or four swimmers have battled for two international roster spots, and though times are likely to improve in April, Felipe Silva got the win with a 1:00.53 after posting a 1:00.31 in prelims, his fastest time of 2013. Silva, the 2011 world champion in the 50 breaststroke, was hampered by illness and injury earlier this year and was unable to qualify for worlds. In second place today was Felipe Silva with a 1:01.07, followed by Joao Gomes with a 1:01.30 and Raphael Rodrigues with a 1:01.60 for fourth. Another perennial contender in this race is Henrique Barbosa, who was fifth with a 1:01.92.
A few other races featured some very close battles for the top spot on the podium. The men’s 200 IM featured national record holder Thiago Pereira battling rising swimmers Thiago Simon and Henrique Rodrigues. It was Simon who got the win with a 2:00.39, almost breaking 2:00 for the first time. Pereira was second with a 2:00.47 while Rodrigues took third with a 2:00.68.
In the women’s 200 IM, Florencia Perotti had her hands full in all four strokes with Nathalia Almeida and Julia Volkman, but got to the wall first with a 2:19.48. Almeida was second with a 2:19.58 while Volkman was third in 2:19.61.
Manuela Lyrio won the women’s 200 fly with a 2:16.00 to barely beat out Gabriela Rocha’s 2:16.28 and Giovanna Tomanik’s 2:16.58.
Marcos Ferrari won the 400 and 800 freestyles, but had a battle with Miguel Valente in both. Ferrari posted a 3:53.82 in the 400 to Valente’s 3:54.02 and Giuliano Rocco’s 3:54.06. In the 800, it was Ferrari and Valente well in the lead, with Ferrari winning in 8:03.33 to Valente’s 8:03.94.
Graciele Herman nearly beat Flavia Delaroli-Cazziolato’s national record of 24.98 in the 50 freestyle, posting a 25.02 to get her name on the provincial roster for Pan Pacs. Herman also won the 100 free with s 55.04. Also getting on the team with their winning times were Etiene Medeiros and Daniel Orzechowski, both in the 50 backstrokes. Etiene won the women’s race with as 28.11, while national record holder Orzechowski cruised to a winning time of 25.40.
Poliana Okimoto, the Swimming World Magazine reigning female open water swimmer of the year, won the 1500 freestyle with a 16:53.06. Though she finished second to Okimoto in the 1500, Carolian Bilich got the win in the 400 free with a 4:15.59.
Other winners in the final two days of the Brazil Open include:
Beatriz Travalon in the women’s 100 breast (1:10.26);
Leonardo de Deus in the men’s 200 back (1:57.76);
Pamela Souza in the women’s 200 breast (2:33.99);
Fernando da Silva in the men’s 100 free (49.29).