By Jorge Aguado
MALDONADO, Uruguay, April 6. AFTER four days of competition at the Maldonado Sports Complex, four South American Records were wiped from the books.
Brazilian Thiago Pereira, 18, reached new heights when he won the 200 IM with 2.00.19. His record ranks 12th in the all-time list and second in the world ranking this year. Pereira, who won silver (200 IM) and bronze (400 IM) medals at the Pan Am Games in Santo Domingo, lives in Belo Horizonte and trains at Minas Tenis Clube. He also touched first in the 400 IM (4.21.27) and swam the 4×100 and 4×200 free relays — also gold medals winners.
Pereira also holds SA records in the 200 meter breaststroke (long course)and in short course meters he has set the SA records in the three distances at which the IM is swum (100,200 and 400 meters). There is speculation that he will come to the USA in 2005 to study and swim at an American university.
Another medalist from Santo Domingo (bronze 800 free), Kristel Kobrich Schimpl of Chile obliterated the SA record in the 1500 meter freestyle. Her 16.24.39 slashed eight seconds off the previous mark. Her 800 meter split (8.43.+) was three seconds faster than her winning time in this race (8.46.63). She trains in Argentina under the tutelage of former Jose Meolans´coach Daniel Garimaldi at the Club Universitario Cordoba.
Flavia Delaroli, Brazil, outswam her compatriot Rebeca Gusmao to win and set the SA record in the 50 meter freestyle with a time of 25.39.
Veteran Fabiola Molina, Brazil, bettered the SA record in the 50 meter backstroke with 29.78. She also won the 100 meter backstroke, the 100 meter butterfly and took part in the winning 4x100m medley relay.
Georgina Bardach, Argentina, won four gold medals. She first pocketed the 200 IM over her archrival Joanna Maranhao. In the second night she added two with her winning efforts in the 200 meter backstroke and in her pet event (bronze medal in Moscow 2002), the 400 meter IM, where she clocked 4.45.70. She closed her collection touching first in the 200 meter butterfly. Her dream is to be one of the eight finalists in the 400 meter IM in Athens.
Other multiple winners were:
Javiera Salcedo (ARG) winning the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke.
Eduardo German Otero (ARG) hit the pad first in the 50 and 100 meter backstroke.
Eduardo Fischer (BRA) confirmed his supremacy in the breaststroke winning the three distances and swimming in the 4x100m medley relay, to total four golds.
Luis Rojas (Venezuela) ended the meet with two golds thanks to his triumphs in the 50 meter butterfly and 100 meter freestyle.
Monique Ferreira (BRA) won the South American middle-distance crown after winning the 200 and 400 meter freestyle.