2018 Spanish Spring Open Day 1 Recap: Belmonte Qualifies For Euros

2018 Spanish Spring Open (Campeonato de España Open de Primavera)

  • Saturday, April 7th – Wednesday, April 11th
  • Aquatic Center of Málaga, Málaga, Spain
  • Long Course Meters (50m)
  • Live Results
  • Live Stream
  • Prelims start at 3:30am ET, Finals at 11:30am ET (9:30am/5:30pm in Spain)

On the first day of the 2018 Spanish Spring Open, Mireia Belmonte was the only swimmer to automatically qualify for the Spanish European Championships team in August. Spain changed its qualifying standards for Euros up a little bit this year, adding in prelims and semifinals cuts instead of just general cuts that could be swum at any time.

For a more full explanation of how Spain’s new qualifying system for the European Championships works, here is our post on it from when it was first released.

To provide a brief explanation of the new system, the way it works is that a swimmer has to achieve the prelims standard in a prelims swim, and the semifinals standard in a semifinals swim in order to automatically qualify to the team. In the 400 free and 400 IM, since there are no semifinals in those events, there is a prelims standard and a finals standard. In the 800 and 1500, qualification works the same as it alsways has, with just one standard that needs to be achieved, and that’s because the qualifying meet only has timed finals of those events.

That being said, Belmonte was the first swimmer to automatically qualify for Spain’s team for the European Championships, winning the women’s 800 free with a 8:30.48. That time comes in a second under the cut of 8:31.49. Her time was well off her personal best of 8:18.76, which she swam at the 2012 London Olympics, but it is still the 9th fastest time in the world this year. She also negative split the race with a 4:16.26/4:14.22, splitting mid and low 32s on the first half of the race, and low 32s and high 31s on the 2nd part of the race.

Runner-up Jimena Perez Blanco posted an 8:36.84, which was 6 seconds ahead of the 3rd place finisher, Maria De Valdes Alvarez. Given that margin between 2nd and 3rd place, Perez Blanco will likely be getting the 2nd spot on the Euro team roster for the 800 free, even though she didn’t get the cut.

Belmonte also swam the 200 fly in prelims, taking the top seed with a 2:08.87. That time was well under the prelims time standard of 2:10.50, but Belmonte finished 3rd in finals with a 2:10.95. She failed to achieve the semifinals time standard of 2:09.73, but given that nobody achieved both, she will still be selected to the team. Judit Ignacio Sorribes was the fastest in the semifinal, giving her the top seed for the final on day 2 with a 2:09.80.

Lidon Munoz del Campo won the women’s 100 freestyle, taking down the Spanish Record in the event as well. Her semifinals time of 54.48 shaved nearly half a second off the previous record of 54.85. She also goes into tomorrow’s final seeded first by over 1.5 seconds. She’ll have to shave off another half a second to take down the Spanish Open Record of 53.99.

Miguel Duran Navia and Francisco Arevalo Rubio battled in a tight race in the men’s 400 free final. Miguel held a veryslight lead over Francisco through the first half of the race, then expanded it to about a half a second in the last few 50s. Duran finished with a 3:49.39 to Arevalo’s 3:49.85. They were both off the Euro team cut of 3:47.68, but as the top 2 finishers in the race, they will make it onto the team.

Africa Zamorano Sanz and Cristina Garcia Kirichenko battled in the women’s 200 back semifinal, posting times of 2:10.89 and 2:10.99 respectively. Again, they were off the qualifying standard of 2:10.04, but they’re both only about a second off the Spanish Open Record of 2:09.82. Cristina Garcia Kirichenko is also a 17 year old, and broke her own Spanish Junior Record with that swim.

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