After a fabulous year where she broke the 400 (3:54.52), 800 (7:59.34) and 1500 (15:26.95) freestyle short course world records, won four gold (400 and 800 freestyle, 200 butterfly and 400 IM) at the European Short Course Championships in Herning and two silver (200 butterfly and 400 IM) and one bronze (200 IM) at the 2013 World Championships on her home soil in Barcelona Mireia Belmonte Garcia feels that at 23 years old she still has a lot of room to improve.
“There is still much room for improvement,” Belmonte told the media at a press conference in Seville.
She went on to tell the media how important it is for her to improve every year and that she still has a lot of work to do in and out of the water. Belmonte expressed how much she is enjoying the sport and that her confidence is high in every stroke at every distance, something that was echoed by her coach Fred Vergnoux, “She has the ability to compete from 100 meters or as today (in Seville) in 3000 and also in the four strokes.”
Vergnoux also went on to praise her work ethic and the unlimited potential that his star pupil has.
Belmonte competed in a 3000 meter race in Seville as part of a regional qualifying long distance swim organized by the Andalusian Federation that was a qualifier for the Spanish Championships in the distance that will be run next February.
Belmonte also commented on the strength of the Spanish team and her desire that the Spanish public take notice of the efforts of their athletes in the water throughout the year not just at the Olympics or World Championships, “It is a very strong team, a very balanced team,” said Belmonte.
“I complain that this impact is quite unbalanced compared to other countries. French swimmers are on covers of newspapers, but it is important that people know that swimming can be followed throughout the year and not only in World or Games.”
In 2013 Belmonte did not only put up impressive performances at the World Championships, but did so at competitions throughout the entire year. If she continues to improve on her performances in 2014 the Spanish public may be forced to pay little more attention to what is happening in the pool.