Brazil Wins Three Events At 2015 Raia Rapida Meet

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Brazil was the top country at this year’s Raia Rapida meet in Rio de Janeiro, winning three of the five sprint events. The United States, South Africa and Italy also sent athletes to the meet, with the Americans and South Africans managing one win each.

With 15 points, it’s the second-straight team victory for the Brazilians, having won in 2014. The United States was second with 11 points, while South Africa (9 points) and Italy (1 point) rounded out the top four.

The format of the meet consisted of three single-elimination rounds, with 50 meters of the four strokes contested as well as one heat of the 200 medley relay. The “prelims” had the slowest swimmer from each of the four countries eliminated, with the “semifinals” eliminating the slowest swimmer of the three. A two-person final determined the overall winner.

One of the highlights of the meet included the presence of 50 fly world championship silver medalist Nicholas Santos of Brazil, who went head-to-head with American Giles Smith in the 50 fly final. Santos, who posted a 23.09 at worlds to win his medal, won in Rio with a 23.08. Though it’s faster than his time from Russia, it’s not his fastest of the year. Santos swam a 22.90 at the Maria Lenk Trophy meet in April for second in the world rankings. Smith posted a 24.80 for second place.

Felipe Silva, who was fourth in the 50 breast at worlds with a 26.87, gave Brazil another win with a 27.62 in the 50 breast to beat South Africa’s Giulio Zorzi and his 28.46.

The Americans were led by Anthony Ervin, who won the 50 free with a 22.43. Brazil’s Henrique Martins was a distant second with a 23.10. In the 50 backstroke, former world champion Gerhard Zandberg gave the South Africans a win with a narrow victory over American David Plummer. Zandberg took the win in 25.19 to Plummer’s 25.26. Notably, Plummer was eighth at worlds with a 24.96. Zandberg had announced his retirement from competitive swimming after disagreements with his country’s swimming federation in 2013, but came back for the 2014 nationals.

Brazil’s depth helped the host country win the 200 medley relay. Daniel Orzechowski, Silva, Santos and Martins posted a 1:38.06. The Americans were second with a 1:39.46, using Plummer, Mike Alexandrov, Smith and Ervin. South Africa came in third with a 1:40.65 using Zandberg, Zorzi, Roland Schoeman and Brad Tandy.

2015 Raia Rapida – Results