Rio Olympic Games: The Women’s 200-meter Freestyle

Rio Olympic Games: The Women's 200-meter Freestyle

How a yellow jersey is dividing Brazilians

In the first of two articles, we told how the Olympic Games and the race for a Rio Olympic title were polarizing the country at this year’s tournament. A yellow jersey is about to go up on the podium in the opening ceremony. But not to the winner of the men’s 800-meter race. That will be Brazil’s women’s 200-meter freestyle race. The men are on the podium in all events except individual sabres.

The 200 is not a popular event in Brazil. At the first Summer Olympic games in the country in Athens, the national team took second at the 800 and first at the 400-meter hurdles. The 200, which is part of the 3,200 meters, is an event in which Brazil won its first Olympic gold in the 800-meter run in 2012.

But then the men took the gold medal. The women’s race in Beijing, however, is another story. Brazil has won the gold at the 200 a record five times, and the women won silver three times. There are seven Olympic titles in the 200 at Rio, which isn’t enough to ensure Brazil a third straight gold.

No matter how we look at it, however, the Rio Olympic title will be decided in the women’s 200-meter freestyle, where a single medal would cement the nation’s position as the top Olympic medal team in the sprint events. What’s more, there’s a gold medal in Olympic history when the men are not there.

There are few people who can argue with the quality of the Brazilian women. They are the fastest women’s teams in the world. The team has four Olympic gold medals. The most impressive thing about them is their consistency. If, however, they get some help on the podium in the 200, the medal-winning race will be the first time Brazil has won it since 1992.

The question is, will the men’s race be a repeat of the women’s race? And, if it is, will the entire team win the Olympic title?

“This is a very different format,” said Luiz Carlos Barbosa,

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