Belmonte, Vall & Gonzalez Clear Olympic Qualifying Marks In Castellón


The 2020 Open Castalia Castellón Trophy kicked off this morning, with some of Spain’s best seeking Olympic roster spots for the postponed 2020 Tokyo Games.

For reference, below are the minimum time standards required by the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEN) for 2020 Olympic Games qualification.

Among the contenders is 30-year-old Mireia Belmonte, the most successful Spanish swimmer ever. Belmonte hit an Olympic qualifying time, which puts her on track for her 4th Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Belmonte was due to be a member of Team Iron during season 2 of the International Swimming League (ISL), however, the Spaniard never made an appearance in Budapest.

It’s encouraging, then to see the 200m fly Olympic champion back in the water here in her native Spain, today contesting the 400m free and 1500m free. She used the morning heats of the 400m free as a warm-up, posting the 2nd seeded time of 4:15.03 before dropping out of the event.

For Belmonte, the versatile athlete had designs on qualifying for the Olympic Games in the women’s 1500m free, a goal she accomplished in spades. Touching the wall in a time of 16:05.02, Belmonte easily dipped under the Olympic QT of 16:32.04. That checks-in as her fastest since Gwangju, with Belmonte having clocked a time of 16:02.10 to place 8th in the final of the women’s 1500m at those 2019 World Championships.

Belmonte is set yet to race the 800m free and 40m IM events here.

Two other Olympic qualifiers were born out of tonight’s session, with Jessica Vall and Hugo Gonzalez notching their names onto the roster for official consideration.

First, in the women’s 200m breast, national record holder Vall punched a winning effort of 2:24.62. That was off her Spanish standard of 2:22.56 from way back in 2016, but enough to easily clear the Olympic minimum of 2:25.52 needed for Tokyo.

As for Cal redshirt Gonzalez, his swim wasn’t quite as comfortable, with the 21-year-old getting under the Olympic cut by just .01. Splitting 26.62/27.22, Gonzalez’s time of 53.84 just barely screeched under the 53.85 QT.

Of note, the men’s 400m IM saw Joan Pons post a top-seeded effort of 4:15.55 in the morning heats to register a new meet record. That outing sat inside of the 4;15.84 needed for Tokyo. However, the man was unable to do it again in the finals, producing a time of 4:15.92 to fall outside the threshold.

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10 months ago

Hugo did not swim the 400 IM?

10 months ago

what about Garcia in the 200 breast?

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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