Povoa de Varzim International: Mirco Di Tora, Yuliya Banach Double Up During Day One

PORTO, Portugal, January 19. THE first day of long course swimming at the Povoa de Varzim International meet ran its course in the beautiful city of Porto in Portugal. During finals, Mirco Di Tora and Yuliya Banach walked away with daily doubles, while United States breaststroker Kevin Swander made his return to competition.

Women's 100 free
Wendy Lencelloti snagged the first title on offer with a time of 58.74, while Sara Alexandra Madeira took second in 59.49. Israel's Kristina Tchernychev placed third in 59.64.

Men's 200 free
Adriano Miguel Niz copped a clear-cut victory with a 1:52.33 readout. Diogo Filipe Carvalho finished second in 1:53.87, while Luis Miguel Monteiro took third in 1:55.20. Notably, Carlos Esteves Almeida won the consolation heat in 1:54.63.

Women's 50 breast
Israel's Yuliya Banach held off teammates Ana Marisa Brito and Ana Rita Mendes with a winning time of 33.61. Brito took second in 33.94, while Mendes placed third in 34.66.

Men's 100 breast
Returning from what could either be called a break or a semi-retirement, Kevin Swander of the United States clocked a strong first effort on his road to Omaha. He topped the 100 breast in 1:03.94, while Henrique Pereira Neiva (1:05.10) and Ricardo Jose Varela (1:05.68) completed the top three.

"It's great getting back into competition," Swander said. "I'm here with my coach [Pam Swander], and she told me the main goal at this meet is to have fun regardless of times in the pool, especially at a meet like this where there is not too much pressure. It's more about having fun and enjoying the trip. Porto is a gorgeous city with great scenery and nice people, but I'm not going to lie, it's nice to swim my in-season best times at my first meet back."

It will be interesting to keep an eye on Swander as he works his way towards a potential spot on the U.S. Olympic roster.

Women's 100 back
In an exciting finish, Israel's Anna Volchkov touched out Caterina Brighi and teammate Anat Zimin, 1:06.16 to 1:06.23 and 1:06.96.

Men's 50 back
Mirco Di Tora clocked the only sub-27 in the race with a winning effort of 26.28. Pedro Diogo Oliveira finished second in 27.79, while Israel's Jonatan Kopelev took third in 27.89.

Women's 200 fly
Another exciting finish came in the women's 200 fly. Sara Freitas Oliveira touched out Caterina Brighi, 2:20.04 to 2:20.44. Judit Ignacio Sorribes completed the top three in 2:21.16.

Men's 100 fly
Tiago Andre Venancio placed first in the men's 100 fly with a time of 54.99, while Adriano Miguel Niz finished second in 55.22. Simao Gomes Morgado rounded out the podium in 55.57.

Women's 400 free
Giulia Bolgiani beat out teammate Wendy Lencelloti with a winning effort of 4:21.54. Lencelloti finished second in 4:22.37, while Corinne Gambaiani touched third in 4:27.57.

Men's 200 IM
Diogo Filipe Carvalho crushed the competition in the men's 200 IM with a time of 2:03.95. Cesare Pizzirani (2:09.70) and Ricardo Amorim Rego (2:10.46) were his closest competition en route to second and third place finishes, respectively.

Women's 200 breast
Israel's Yuliya Banach doubled up on the day with a win in the 200 breast. She recorded a 2:36.24 to win, while Ana Marisa Brito took second in 2:43.84. Ana Pinho Rodrigues placed third in 2:45.07.

Men's 50 free
Paolo Jorge Santos touched out teammate Luis Miguel Monteiro, 23.42 to 23.57, en route to the splash-and-dash victory. Lukas Harnol comprised the rest of the top three with a time of 24.13.

Women's 50 fly
In a close finish, Sara Freitas Oliveira hit first in 28.47, while Israel's Ana Zimin took second in 28.90. Just behind, Filipa Ferreira da Silva took third in 28.97.

Men's 200 back
Micro Di Tora claimed his second title, this time with a 2:05.27 touch out conquest in the 200 back. Pedro Diogo Oliveira came up just short with a second-place time of 2:05.33. Israel's Denis Gayvoronskiy placed third in 2:08.39.

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