Belmonte Closes Out 2020 Catalonia Open With Two More Golds

by Ben Dornan 1

January 19th, 2020 Europe, International, News


Mireia Belmonte capped off the 2020 Catalonia Open with another two victories, bringing her total up to seven individual race wins for the meet. Belmonte won the women’s 1500 and 200 freestyle on the final morning. Belmonte’s first win of the night was in the 1500 with a 16:24.79. The time was still a bit far off her swim from this past summer at the 2019 World Swimming Championships in Gwanju where she swam a 16:20.10. Belmonte’s best time in the event is a 15:50.89 Spanish record from the 2017 World Champs. Maria de Valdes took silver with a 16:38.45, followed by Jimena Perez at 16:49.12.

Belmonte’s gold medal time in the 200 free was a 2:01.78, edging out Ainhoa Campabadal by just 0.01 seconds. Campabadal was a 2:01.79 for silver Nerea Ibanez took bronze (2:03.34). While still a bit over most of her personal best’s this weekend, Belmonte was a clear standout. She has been a dominant force in Spanish swimming, representing Spain on an international level and is the current defending Olympic champion in the 200 fly.

After picking up a bronze in the 400 free and sharing gold with Miguel Duran in the 800, Albert Escrits Manosa took gold in the 1500. Manosa touched in a 15:24.26, with Ferran Julia Tous (15:44.67) taking silver and Alberto Martinez (15:47.90) taking bronze.

Duran, meanwhile, raced to a victory in the 200 free with a time of 1:51.16, joined on the podium by Alex Ramos (1:51.84) and Francisco Javier Chacon (1:52.39)

Sprint star Lidon Munoz also added hardware to her collection with two additional victories in 100 back and 50 fly on the final day on the meet. She swam a 27.63 in the 50 fly and a 1:02.60 in the 100 back. In the she was joined on the podium by for silver and for bronze. Took silver in the, with taking bronze. Munoz’s 100 back time would have scored her a 7th place finish in the B final at the Knoxville Pro Swim Series this weekend.

These marked Munoz’s 4th and 5th gold medals of the meet, with previous victories in the 50 back, 50 free, and 100 fly.

2019 World Champs swimmer Jessica Vall and Marina Garcia went head to head in the 200 breast final in a rematch from last year’s Spanish Short Courese Champs where Vall took gold and Garcia silver. Turning the tables, Garcia came out victorious at a 2:26.91 and Vall followed for silver with a 2:28.77. The Spanish breaststroke duo have each represented their country at the Olympics but never at the same one; Vall going to Rio and Garcia having been at London. They will both vie for spots on the team for Tokyo this summer.

Joan Ballester Puig took his second gold of the meet, swimming a 2:17.28 200 breast to beat out Carles Coll and Joan Lluis Pons, who swam 2:17.54 and 2:22.03. Puig also took gold in the 100 breast earlier on in the meet with a 1:04.18.

Additional Day Three Medalists

  • Men’s 100 Back: Gold – Alejandro Calderon (56.93), Silver – Alberto Hernandez (59.35), Bronze – Sergio de Celis (58.56)
  • Men’s 50 Fly: Gold – Alberto Lozano (24.35), Silver – Bernat Lomero (25.20), Bronze – David Benitez (25.43)
  • Women’s 4×100 Medley: Gold – CN Sant Andreu (4:11.41), Silver – CN Sabadell (4:15.36), Bronze – CE Mediterrani (4:20.23)
  • Men’s 4×100 Medley: Gold – CE Mediterrani (3:46.70), Silver – CN Sant Andreu (3:50.09), Bronze – CN Terrassa (3:51.60)

Closing out the 2020 Catalonia Open, many of Spain’s top swimmers and Olympic hopefuls including Belmonte, Munoz, Vall, Duran and Manosa enter the final stretch of Olympic qualification and preparation. While not restricted to only qualify in their home country, they will have a shot to make the team at the Cto. de España “Open” de Primavera P50 from April 4-8 and at the Mare Nostrum Barcelona from June 10-11. 2016 Olympian Hugo Gonzalez became an early qualifier for 2020 when he made it for the 200 IM at the 2019 Swim Cup Amsterdam.

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Coach Mike 1952

Congratulations Mireia, it is good to see you coming back strong, especially in this Olympic year. Look to see you in ISL as well.

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