Real Federación Española de Natación (RFEN), the governing body for swimming in Spain, has included the World University Games in its 2019 calendar and published selection criteria in its website. This means that, for the first time since 2013, Spain intends to send a contingent to race at the biannual event bringing together university students from around the world in athletic competition.
In 2013, the last time they had swimmers participate, Spain sent 7, though they finished with 0 medals. Among the top performers was Carlos Peralta, who took 5th in the men’s 200 fly in 1:58.31, and Claudia Dasca Romeu, who took 7th in the women’s 1500 free (16:39.82). The country didn’t swim any relays.
In 2011, Spain earned 6 medals, including gold in the 200 free by Melania Costa Schmid, but before that no Spanish swimmer had seen a podium since 1999, in spite of the fact that many of the country’s top swimmers are based out of universities.
Spain says that they’ll select a maximum of 12 swimmers (6 men and 6 women) who meet the minimum time standards at the 2019 Spring Open Championships held in Sabadell in April. If 12 swimmers don’t hit the standard, other athletes who hit reference marks for the ESP-2024 may be considered instead. Athletes racing at the 2019 World Championships are not eligible.
The 2019 World University Games will be hosted in Naples, Italy.