BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil, February 11. COMPARED to the other stops on the FINA World Cup circuit, the eighth leg in Belo Horizonte, Brazil was not expected to measure up as far as times were concerned. And, after the first day of action in South America, the times, indeed, were far from impressive.
Romania’s Camelia Potec was a double-winner on the opening night of competition, as she prevailed in the 200 and 800 freestyles. After clocking 1:58.34 in the 200 free, good for a two-plus second triumph, Potec rolled through the 800 free with an effort of 8:38.37. She was joined as a victor by countryman Dragos Coman, who bested the field in the men’s 400 free (3:49.25).
Preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March, South Africa’s Ryk Neethling collected top honors in the 100 individual medley with a swim of 53.72 and also placed second in the 100 free, as his 48.26 performance was just off the winning mark of Canada’s Brent Hayden (48.08). Another Canadian win was supplied by Scott Dickens in the 200 breast (2:12.17).
Germany put together a strong showing, led by backstroke wins from Thomas Rupprath and Janine Pietsch. Rupprath prevailed in the 100 back in 52.30 while Pietsch took the sprint dorsal on the women’s side in a swim of 27.25. Nicole Hetzer also secured a win when she touched the wall ahead of the competition in the 200 individual medley (2:13.88). Rupprath was also second in the 50 fly, where he finished behind Brazil’s Kaio Almeida (23.30).
Staciana Winfield posted a victory for the United States in the 100 breast (1:07.22) and Brazil’s Thiago Pereira was the winner of the men’s 400 I.M. in 4:18.69.