Spanish star Mireia Belmonte decided to bypass the Mare Nostrum Series stop in Barcelona so that she could compete at the FINA Open Water World Cup in Setubal. By competing in the event in Portugal it gave Belmonte an opportunity to qualify for the 10 km open water event in Rio.
Her interest in the open water events was heightened after she earned a bronze in the 5 km at the European Championships in 2014, the same meet where she collected two gold, two silver and a bronze in the pool. In the end Belmonte failed to qualify for the 10 km finishing 28th in yesterday’s event in Setubal.
Her fellow countrywoman Erika Vilaecija, who finished 14th, did earn a spot in the Olympic event.
It can only be assumed that Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands will be swimming in both venues after earning silver medals at the World Championships in both the 10 km and the 400 freestyle.
Xin Xin of China is set to race the 400 and 800 freestyle as well as the 10 km event.
In 2012 both Vilaecija and Cecilia Biagioli of Argentina raced the 10 km and the 800 freestyle in London.
When the event was first introduced in 2008 there were several women successful in competing in both venues. British swimmers Kerri-Anne Payne and Cassie Patten finished first and second in the 10 km event in Beijing. Payne also competed in the 200 and 400 IM while Patten finished eighth in the 800 freestyle. Andreina Pinto of Venezuela and Melissa Gorman of Australia both competed in the 10 km and the 800 freestyle.
Although Belmonte will not be in the 10 km event in Rio she will be vying for medals in the 400 and 800 freestyle, the 200 butterfly as well as the 200 and 400 IM.