Brazil In The Ready Room
May 5, 2008
Craig Lord

Brazil will stage its final Olympic qualification trials in Rio from tomorrow until Sunday. The meet is decisive for all but the 11 athletes who have already booked their tickets to Beijing and make the national team the strongest for some years, with Thiago Pereira and Cesar Cielo at the helm.

The venue for the Maria Lenk Trophy is the Parque Aquático named in honour of the woman who gave the Olympic Games its first glimpse of butterfly back in Berlin in 1936, when Lenk used butterfly arms with breaststroke legs in the breaststroke qualifiers 16 years before butterfly became an official stroke.

Among those on the line in Rio is Joanna Maranhão, who will attempt to make the grade in the 200m butterfly and 400m medley in what has been a difficult year for a swimmer in the wake of her claims that she was sexually abused by a swimming teacher as a youngster. Maranhão has actually clocked the standard needed in the 200 'fly but the Stanford meet in California was not a designated meet for Olympic qualification.

'The work's been done,' she told the Brazilian media after a training camp in Recife with coach Reinaldo Nikita. The target is 2:10.84 in the 200 'fly. Head coach Albert Silva told Brazilian media: 'I think we'll leave Rio with a bigger team. Between six and eight athletes could meet the targets.'

The trials will also see women battling to help the Brazil relays make the grade after earlier times had to be cancelled following the suspension of Rebecca Gusmão after an alleged doping offense.