Marcelo Chierighini Leads Talented 100 Free Final To Close Out Brazil Champs

RIO DE JANIERO, Brazil, April 27. MARCELO Chierighini wrapped up an impressive spring championship season with a big win in the men's 100 free on the final day of the Maria Lenk Trophy meet.

Chierighini, the runner-up in the 50 and 100 freestyles at the NCAA championships for Auburn University last month, earned his first trip to the top of the podium today with a 48.11 in the 100 free. Not only is it a lifetime best, but it automatically qualifies him for the world championships in the event and places him in a tie for second in the world with reigning Olympic champion Nathan Adrian. Chierighini was already on the team with his second-place finish Thursday in the 50 freestyle.

Though a remarkable swim in itself, the win comes with Cesar Cielo's absence, as the perennial world and Olympic finalist in the 100 free is switching his focus to the 50s during this year of recuperation from knee surgery. Nicolas Oliveira and Fernando Santos found themselves in a tie for second with times of 48.72, thus prompting a likely swimoff to determine which will swim the individual event in Barcelona (only two can qualify per individual event per FINA rules). Fourth place in the event went to Vinicius Waked with a 49.53.

It should be noted that Joao de Lucca, the NCAA champion in the 200 free and third-place finisher in the 100 free, was unable to swim in the final due to not complying with meet rules that required him to register with a local club. De Lucca posted a 49.46 in prelims and this recap will be updated with his results from his solo swim at the end of the session. Also of note, Bruno Fratus skipped out on today's 100 free competition after posting a 49.13 as a leadoff swimmer in yesterday's 400 free relay. Fratus' and De Lucca's times could bump Waked down to relay alternate for world team selection, and put Fratus on automatic relay duty for Barcelona, with de Lucca sitting fifth.

Leonardo de Deus notched his second win in as many days with a 1:57.77 victory in the 200 backstroke, making a run at Thiago Pereira's national record of 1:57.19 from 2011. The time puts de Deus fifth in the event in the 2013 world rankings, and is a lifetime best by about a second. Fabio Santi nearly cracked two minutes in the event with a second-place time of 2:00.01, while Leonardo Santos Fim placed third with a 2:01.96.

Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands won the women's 100 free with a 54.52, the only swim under 55 seconds. Daynara Paula took second with a 55.27, while Alessandra Marchioro placed third from lane eight with a 55.51.

Felipe Silva is the reigning world champion in the men's 50 breaststroke, and it appears he will not be able to defend his title, finishing fourth in tonight's final with a 27.78. Reports indicate that Silva has been recovering from emergency appendix surgery, and Brazil may give him another chance at qualifying at the winter championships in May. Joao Gomes picked up his second breaststroke win of the meet with a 27.20 over Felipe Lima's 27.76 and Pedro Cardona's 27.77.

Beatriz Travalon picked up the win in the women's 50 breast with a 31.30 over Ana Carvalho's 31.74. Third place went to Julia Marin with a 32.01.

Joanna Maranhao picked up the win in the women's 200 backstroke with a 2:13.42 over Thalandra Borges' 2:16.60 and Isabela Silva's 2:17.44.

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