Back Half Mastery: Watch Mireia Belmonte’s 4:18.94 Short Course 400 IM


On day 2 of the FINA World Cup Eindhoven, Spaniard Mireia Belmonte blasted a new world record in the women’s short course 400 IM event. Scorching a gold medal-winning time of 4:18.94, Belmonte overtook Katinka Hosszu’s previous record of 4:19.46 to become the first woman ever under the 4:19 mark.

Watch as the exciting race unfolds below, with Belmonte sitting about 3 seconds behind in 2nd place through 200m, only to take things up to a new level on the back half.


As originally reported:

We’ve been seeing World Records of the sprint variety go down as of late, but tonight Spain’s Mireia Belmontecranked out a new mark in the women’s 400m IM. While competing on day 2 of the World Cup in Eindhoven (SCM), Belmonte scorched the field and blasted a new 400 IM WR of 4:18.94. That eclipses the previous record held by Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu of 4:19.46 set at the 2015 European Short Course Championships.

Belmonte and Hosszu have gone back and forth in owning this 400 IM WR, with the former’s mark of 4:19.86 serving as the time Hosszu surpassed with her 4:19.46 win in Netanya. The duo finished 1-2 in tonight’s race in Eindhoven, however, the race strategy played out very differently for the two elite athletes. At the conclusion of the backstroke leg, Belmonte sat over 2 seconds behind a field-leading Hosszu, with the Spaniard’s split registered at 2:06.46 compared to Hosszu’s clocking of 2:03.79 at the 200m mark.

Belmonte took things to another level during the breaststroke, however, making up that time difference and then some, coming out ahead by almost 3 seconds before holding on to the pole position through the freestyle leg. Behind Belmonte’s new WR of 4:18.94, Hosszu settled for 4:25.18, yet still claimed silver in the race. For Belmonte, her time tonight represents the first time a female swimmer has dipped under the 4:19 threshold in the short course 400 IM event.

Below are the splits for Belmonte/Hosszu for tonight’s race, courtesy of Omega Timing:

Belmonte already holds short course world records across the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyle events, as well as the women’s 200 butterfly. The latter is the race Belmonte won in Rio, giving the Spaniard her first individual Olympic gold medal.

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Years of Plain Suck

Very nice swim by Ella Eastin for third. She nearly got the Iron Lady at the end. It’s a real shame she didn’t get to show her talents in Budapest — she very likely would’ve been on the podium in the 400IM.

Hosszu looked gassed in the breast. Probably the cumulative fatigue from carrying the weight on a nation on her shoulders at Worlds.


It took a 4:32 to get onto the podium in Budapest right? Was that Eastin’s best time this summer at Trials?

stanford fan



Great swim. Insane breaststroke leg.
I find it interesting how on the freestyle she chooses to breath on one side for the first half of each lap and then change sides at the half way mark.

tea rex

Belmonte had a fantastic swim. Huzzah!

I wonder what happened to Hosszu though. Maybe she was playing around with her pacing too much?
No way she should get beat by almost 10 seconds on the back half, even by a swimmer as good as Belmonte.

Cayley Guimarães

I don’t think she was playing with her pace, because she was right on mark of her old record….

Hello SwimSwamSwum

I think she kind of gave up during the freestyle. Belmonte’s a distance freestyler, and can still have enough energy to blast out the last 75 free. So she planned to just hold off Ella Eastin of USA?

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