SAO PAOLO, BRAZIL, Dec. 23. A half-dozen of South American short-course meters records highlighted the Jose Finkel Invitational here this weekend.
The meet was held Dec. 19-23 and also served as the selection trials for the Brazilian team which will compete at next spring/s World sc Championships in
Among the South American records bettered were the buitterflys (2:12.05 for the 200 by Argentina's Georgina Bardach, who also won the 200 IM in 2:16.62;
and Brazil's Nicholas Dias, who set a continental standard in the 50 at 23.68).
Bardach's World Championship teammate, sprinter Jose Meolans, who reached the semis in the 50 free at Fukuoka and set an NR of 22.31, won that race here in 21.75, with Brazil's Nicholas dos Santos close behind (21.79). Then Meloans raced to an SAR 52.34 to win the 100 fly. His long-course NR-pr is 54.03 from the Pan-Am Games two years ago in Winnipeg.
Bardach also won the 400 IM (4:41.45) and is quickly becoming her nation's top woman swimmer
Uruguayan backstroker Serrana Fernandez got into the act when she set a continental standard in the 50 (28.67) and added the 100 back title in a quick 1:01.22.
University of Southern California sprint star Rodrigo Castro, a mainstay for Coach Mark Schubert's Trojans this season, moved up to the 400 free and won in an impressive 3:48.47. No word from Schubert yet as to whether Castro will swim the mile at NCAAs!
Other continental records included Brazil's Marcelle Lopes' 2:29.71 for the women'2 200 breast, and teammate Flavia Delaroli's 25.06 in the 50 free.
Veteran distance ace Luis Lima, 24, who went a South American-record 15:17.55 at the 1998 World Championships (lc) in Perth, won his specialty here in 15:13.21.
Ukraine's Volodmir Nikolaychuk, who often trains in Brazil during the winter (wouldn't you prefer Rio over Kiev in December?), won the 200 back 2:01.66. The women's 800 free went to Brazil's Nayara Ribiero (8:35.44) and teammate Kaio Marcio raced to the top spot in the men's 200 fly (1:56.24).
Ageless Gustavo Borges, a member of the University of Michigan's 1995 NCAA Championship team, continues his fine sprinting as he nears the Big 30 plateau, winning the 200 free here in 1:46.49.
Brazilian Monique Ferreira showed she's going to make a splash at Moscow with 1:59.98-4:12.36 victories in the 200-400 frees. Other winners included Brazilians Ivi Monteiro and Marcelo Tomazini in the 100-200 breast (1:02.58-2:10.99); Milene Comini in the women's 50 breast (33.07)and Felipe Santos in the men's (28.74); and Caio Moretzshon in the 200 IM (2:01.19).
– Bill Bell