Hugo Gonzalez Takes Top Prize Money at International Christmas Tournament

Torneo Internacional de Navidad

  • December 29, 2020
  • Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
  • LCM (50 meter pool)
  • Results

The 38th annual edition of the Torneo Internacional de Navidad, or International Christmas Tournament, was held last weekend in Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain.

The meet offered €6000 in prize money, divided evenly between men and women. Athletes are ranked based on their highest-scoring swim on the FINA Points scale, with prizes awarded as follows:

  • 1st place – €1500 ($1,830 USD)
  • 2nd place – €1000 ($1,220 USD)
  • 3rd place – €500 ($610 USD)

The event, sponsored by the regional Basque government, also provided travel support costs to elite internationals who participated.

Focused on 50 and 100-meter races (with the exception of the 200 IM), and televised live, Olympian Hugo Gonzalez came away with top honors, in spite of being known more for his 200 and 400 meter races than his sprints.

Hi 25.09 in the 50 backstroke was his top-scoring swim of the day. That performance was also just .01 seconds away from his personal best, set a week earlier at Spain’s ‘club team championship’ meet. He also posted a 54.55 in the 100 back, which was 9-tenths shy of his best time, also from a week earlier, as there seems to be a marked shift in his focus from the middle-distance events to sprints.

Gonzalez is an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley in the United States, where he is a member of the varsity swim team, but is home in Spain because of the ongoing challenges, especially for international students, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Prize Winners:

  • Male 1st – Hugo Gonzalez, Real Canoe, 50 back – 25.09 9875 points)
  • Male 2nd – Juan Francisco Seguar Gutierrez, CD Sek, 50 back – 25.40 (843 points)
  • Male 3rd – Cesar Castro Valle, CN Santa Olaya, 100 free – 50.56 (798 points)


  • Female 1st – Ainhoa Martin, Euskal Herria, 200 IM – 2:19.65
  • Female 2nd – Leire Martin, Euskal Herria, 50 back – 29.96
  • Female 3rd – Ione Tabuenca Bosch, CN Sant Andreu, 50 breast – 32.88

Gonzalez beat out the 2nd-place finisher in that 50 back, Juan Franisco Seguar, for the top male prize.

The top female finishers were 17-year old twin sisters Ainhoa and Leira Martin. That rising pair of swimmers have each swum best times in 5 long course events over the last 3 weeks.


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15 days ago

I hope not that he took it. Otherwise bye bye CAL

Reply to  Braden Keith
15 days ago

Braden, do you know if either his 53.84 or 54.55 LCM 100 back could be counted as an “official swim” for NCAA qualification purposes? Using Swimswam’s conversion tool, that would convert to a time that looks to be under 2020’s cut line. Just curious if you know either way. Regardless, nice swims for Hugo.

15 days ago

Is Hugo a pro now? No more NCAA?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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