De Deus clears Olympic qualifying mark for 200m backstroke

Rio De Janeiro, Dec 17 (IANS) Leonardo de Deus has become the first Brazilian swimmer to achieve the qualifying standard for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The 24-year-old from Campo Grande, clocked 1 minute 57.43 seconds in the 200m backstroke during an event in Palhoca in Santa Catarina state on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The qualifying mark for the event is 1.58.22.

“I’m really happy. It’s been a busy year and to get my best time in the last competition of 2015 is really satisfying,” De Deus was quoted as saying by the Globo daily.

Brazil can register two competitors for the event at next year’s Olympics. De Deus will only miss out on a berth if his time is eclipsed by two other swimmers during the qualifying period, which ends in April 2016.

De Deus is also vying for a berth in the 200m butterfly.

The Olympics are scheduled to be held from August 5-21, 2016.

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