Veteran Jessica Vall Montero continued her late-blooming career arc on Friday at the 2016 European Championships by breaking the Spanish Record in the 200 meter breaststroke.
Vall swam a 2:22.56, which knocks two tenths from her own personal best and National Record of 2:22.76 that she did at last year’s World Championships. Vall joins a growing list of swimmers who are both finals contenders for the upcoming Olympics and who are still swimming best times here at the European Championships.
After stagnating from 2009-2012 without a best time, the 27-year old has now swum lifetime bests in this event when she’s been 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27 years old.
- Spanish Record, 2015 Worlds: 32.93/36.66/37.60/35.57 = 2:22.76
- Spanish record, 2016 Euros: 33.10/36.72/36.21/36.53 = 2:22.56
Despite racing side-by-side with the current World Record holder Rikke Moeller-Pedersen, Vall managed to control her front-end speed on her swim Friday. She ultimately wasn’t able to hang with Pedersen’s quality on the third length of the swim, Montero opened and closed as well as her opponent did.
Vall’s swim ranks her 7th in the world this year. Spain has never had an Olympic finalist in the 200 breaststroke, and until Vall’s bronze medal at last year’s World Championships, they’d never had a finalist at that meet either.