Maria Lenk Trophy: Flash! Felipe Silva Sets World Record in 50 Breast Prelims

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, May 8. THE Maria Lenk Trophy meet saw its first world record, with a prelim swim by Felipe Silva in the men's 50 breaststroke.

Silva, representing Pinheiros Swim Club, swam a 26.89 to dip .17 seconds under Cameron van der Burgh's record of 27.06 from the semifinals of the South African nationals on April 18.

Not only is Silva's swim the first under 27 seconds, but it is also the first world record for Brazil in 27 years. The last Brazilian to hold a world record was Ricardo Prado, who swam a 4:19.78 to win the world championship title in 1982.

Swimming second in prelims was Joao Luiz Junior, who came close to breaking the record himself with a 27.14. Henrique Barbosa, the man who scared Kosuke Kitajima's world record in the 200 breast, qualified third with a 27.20.

Plenty of other action took place during the rest of the evening preliminary round. Tatiane Sakemi shot down the South American record in the women's 50 breast with a time of 30.81. Her effort demolished her previous record of 31.95 set in November 2008. With one world record under Brazil's belt, will Sakemi be able to take a run at Yuliya Efimova's newly-minted global standard of 30.05 set last month in Moscow? Ana Carla Carvalho finished second in 31.13, while Carolina Mussi took third in 31.62.

In the women's 200 fly, Monique Ferreira paced the field with a time of 2:13.96 to take the top seed heading into tomorrow morning's finals. Daiene Days finished second in 2:14.52, while Julia Gerotto qualified third in 2:15.85.

The men's 200 fly South American record fell, but under exhibition circumstances as Kaio Almeida is swimming this meet unattached, and is unable to compete in finals. Almeida became the first South American under 1:54 with a swift time of 1:53.92. The swim cleared his previous record of 1:54.65 set at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

John Castro will be the top seed in finals with a 1:56.99, while Leonardo de Deus (1:58.26) and Lucas Salatta (1:58.55) will bracket him.

In relay action, the team of Guilherme Guido, Henrique Barbosa, Gabriel Mangabeira and Cesar Cielo set the South American record in the men's 400 medley relay with a time of 3:33.83. The performance crushed the former record of 3:35.81 set by Brazil in 2007.