RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, April 22. A Brazilian swimming federation rule kept NCAA champion Joao de Lucca out of the final of the men's 200 freestyle today at the Maria Lenk Trophy meet, denying him the opportunity to race for a spot on the world championship team in the event.
De Lucca, the reigning NCAA champion in the 200 freestyle after posting the third-fastest time in the event in March, found himself unable to get past a requirement that Brazilians who compete in the championship final at the long course world championship trials be registered with a local team. Various media reports from Brazil indicate that de Lucca had not registered with a team before the deadline. Essentially, de Lucca swam the 200 freestyle preliminaries today as an unattached swimmer, and was unable to win an appeal to swim in the final.
De Lucca's time of 1:49.32 could get him on the world championship squad as a member of the 800 free relay, as the swim ranks third among all swims done today. Nicolas Oliveira, a finalist in the 200 free at past NCAA championships for Arizona, swam a world championship qualifying time of 1:48.10 in prelims, then posted a 1:50.47 to place third in the final. Fernando dos Santos won the final with a 1:49.23, slower than the FINA automatic qualifying standard of 1:48.42. In second was Vinicius Waked, who previously swam for Arizona State, with a 1:50.01.
Update: Alex Pussieldi writes in his blog that De Lucca swam a 200 freestyle alone at the conclusion of the evening finals session, posting a 1:48.72, the second-fastest swim of the day.
The session started with the women's 200 freestyle, won by Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands with a 1:58.14. She's been faster, with a 1:57.54 to her credit from last month's Eindhoven Swim Cup. Jessica Cavalheiro was the top Brazilian in the race, finishing second with a 2:00.69, while Manuella Lyrio was third with a 2:01.25.
After posting a 1:01.00 in the 100 backstroke preliminaries and securing a spot on the world championship team, Etiene Medeiros was unable to match the time in the final, winning with a 1:02.19. Natalia de Luccas finished second with a 1:02.81, and Isabela Silva finished third with a 1:02.95.
Guilherme Guido just missed out on automatic selection for the world championships in the men's 100 back, winning with a 54.80. Leonardo de Deus was right behind in second with a 54.98, while Fabio Santi placed third with a 55.09.
Poliana Okimoto, more suited for the open water, won the women's 1500 freestyle with a 16:32.85. She was followed by Bianca Avella for second with a 16:53.22 and Virginia Martin for third with a 16:56.04.