Despite Surge in COVID Cases, Spanish Distance Group Embarks on Training Camp

In spite of an uptick in COVID-19 cases on Spanish soil, the nation’s elite swimmers are currently at a training camp at BEST Centre, located in Mallorca, Spain. The training camp began Sept. 20 and will stretch through Sept. 27.

The training camp is the first step toward a plan put in place by veteran British swimming coach Sean Kelly, who in early August joined the Spanish Royal Swimming Federation (RFEN) as their National Performance Director for the sport of swimming, a role that is new to the organization as part of a newly-restructured RFEN.

About his new role, as SwimSwam’s Retta Race reports, Kelly said: “One of my priorities is to be with the coaches in their daily work, visiting them regularly, and see how I can help them, pass on all the information that I am capable of. My job is not to tell them how to do things, but to help them achieve excellence, to indicate what they need to achieve it. I do not intend to impose myself, or confront anyone, but to work together.”

In his new position, Kelly will be more focused on the long-run toward the Paris 2024 Games rather than Tokyo, where he says the criteria will not be changed.

A reduced group of athletes will attend the camp, which will not feature Olympic gold medalist Mireia Belmonte, who last month underwent surgery for an abdominal hernia. The roster, however, does include open water specialist Alberto Martinez Murcia, who last summer in Gwangju punched his ticket to Tokyo in the 10-kilometer marathon swimming event. The full list of attending athletes is as follows:

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