Spain’s 8-person strong World Championships roster was released this week after a considerably successful Spring Open where 1 national and 9 championship records went down.
Leading the way in terms of overall wins was the Spanish superstar Mireia Belmonte, who conquered 6 events to easily make the roster for Budapest. The 200m butterfly gold medalist in Rio scored the win in that event handily, notching a time of 2:08.17 to top the competitors by over 3 seconds. That time puts Belmonte within the world’s top 10, but towards the end of the list, far away from Germany’s Franziska Hentke’s world leading time of 2:06.84.
Belmonte struck again across the mid-distance/distance freestyles, where she collected a trifecta of wins across the 400m, 800m and 1500m. In the shortest distance, the national record holder scored a time of 4:06.77 to be positioned just outside the top 5 women in the world heading into Budapest. Her 800m freestyle gold medal in Spain came in a time of 8:29.33 for 7th in the world, but her big swim came in the 1500.
In the grueling race, Belmonte finished in 16:08.73, representing the 9th fastest time of the 26-year-old’s career. She also now sits atop the world rankings throne with the outing.
The final two wins for Belmonte came in the 200m and 400m IM’s where she earned respective times of 2:12.52 and 4:35.01. Remember Belmonte won bronze in teh latter event at the 2016 Olympic Games behind Hosszu and American Maya DiRado. Japan’s Yu Ohhashi nailed a monster time of 4:31.42 at the Japan Swim to overtake Belmonte as the world’s #1 and put her, Hosszu and others on notice heading into Budapest.
National record holder Jessica Vall was the other major star of the meet, sharing MVP honors with Belmonte. Heading into the Spring Open, Vall held the Spanish record in the women’s 100m breaststroke at a solid 1:06.81 from 2014. But the 28-year-old cranked out an even faster mark of 1:06.44 to rewrite the books. Splitting 31.68/34.67 Vall now ranks within the world’s top 5. She also won the 50m and 200m breaststroke events to complete the sweep.
Below is the 8-swimmer Spanish roster for the 2017 World Championships:
Mireia BELMONTE GARCÍA
Jessica VALL MONTERO
Jimena PÉREZ BLANCO
Hugo GONZÁLEZ DE OLIVEIRA
Antonio ARROYO PÉREZ
Miguel DURÁN NAVIA
Joan Ll. PONS RAMON
Africa ZAMORANO SANZ