Mon, Nov 26, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Brazilian swimmers take home six gold World Cup medals


Tatiane Sakemi set a South American record in the 100m breaststroke as Brazilian swimmers won six gold medals on Saturday to dominate the first day of FINA's short-course World Cup Super Final.

Sakemi clocked 1 minute, 8.93 seconds to lead a Brazilian sweep in the event, as Renata Sander was second and Natalia Favoreto took third.

"The record was just a consequence," she said. "I've been competing a lot and I'm in a good rhythm for competition."

South Africa, led by Olympic champion Roland Schoeman, took five golds, while Sweden won three. The US won two events, and Australia claimed one.

Joana Maranhao led the Brazilians with two golds, beating Germany's Christin Zenner to win the 200 backstroke and defeating South Africa's Keri-Leigh Shaw by nearly 3 seconds in the 200 medley.

Her teammate Mariana Brochado opened the competition with a victory in the 800 freestyle, with Brazilians taking the top three spots.

Brazilian favorite Thiago Pereira, who set a World Cup and South American record of 4:00.63 in the 400 medley in Berlin last week, won with a time of 4:08.49 -- nearly 10 seconds faster than Australia's Adam Lucas in second.

"It's the end of the season, and I'm thinking about the Olympics now," Pereira said.

Kaio Marcio de Almeida completed the Brazilian streak by clocking 1:54.39 to win the 200 butterfly, edging Australia's Christopher Wright.

South Africa's Roland Schoeman won the first of his two events in the 100 freestyle, finishing in 46.85 seconds to beat countryman Lyndon Ferns. Schoeman was back on the podium after winning the 100 medley, ahead of South Africa's Gerhard Zandberg.

Zandberg won the 50 breaststroke and Ferns took the 50 butterfly, while Lize-Marie Retief won the women's 50 backstroke.

US swimmers managed two golds, with Randall Bal winning the 100 backstroke and Natalie Coughlin capturing the 100 butterfly in 56.39 seconds, nearly matching her tournament record of 56.34 seconds set in 2002.

"I'm trying to stay within the top three in the circuit ranking and my time today was good," she said. "It was close to my best even though I'm a little tired in Belo Horizonte after so many trips."

For Sweden, Therese Alshammar won the women's 50 freestyle, Josephin Lillhage took the 200 freestyle and Jonas Andersson captured the men's 200 breaststroke.

Australia's lone gold-medalist was Adam Lucas, who beat Brazil's Luiz Arapiraca in the 400 freestyle.

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