Lidon Muñoz Wins 8 Gold Medals, Breaks 5 Spanish Records at Nationals

2019 SPANISH SHORT COURSE SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

5 new Spanish Records were broken this weekend at the Spanish Shrot Course Swimming Championships in Gijón this weekend, all of which were broken by (or by partial hand of) a single swimmer – 23-year old Lidón Muñoz.

En route to an 8 gold medal, 2 silver medal performance, the swimmer from CN Sant Andreu led her team to the women’s title at the meet. Real Canoe won the men’s event.

Starting with the 100 IM, Muñoz’s winning time of 1:00.68 shaved a mere .01 seconds off her record set last December at the World Short Course Championships. That was an auspicious start to what would explode into an electric week for her as she takes the mantle, for now, as the new Spanish star with Olympic champion Mireia Belmonte absent from the meet.

Her team also won gold in the women’s 200 medley relay in the morning session on day 1.

On day 2, she picked up 3 more gold medals thanks first to a win and a new Spanish Record in the 100 free. She swam a 52.61 to break the old mark of 53.02 that was set by Maria Fuster in late 2009 – almost a decade ago in a now-banned polyurethane supersuit. Spain still has a number of those records remaining on its national books, but one fewer than they did previously. Muñoz’s previous best time was a 53.18 from last year’s Spanish Championships.

Earlier in the day, she led off Sant Andreu’s 200 free relay in 24.16 as the team of her, Marta Gonzalez, Africa Zamorano, and Laia Sicart combined for a 1:39.90. Even as a club relay, that swim broke the Spanish National Record in the 200 free relay (which also belonged to this club from a 2016 swim).

Later in the day, she swam as part of the Sant Andreu women’s 800 free relay. She split 1:56.91 en route to the team’s 7:55.13 – good for an 8-second margin of victory.

On day 3 of the meet, Muñoz earned one of her 2 silver medals to kick off the session, swimming a 1:56.63 in the 200 free. She was only nipped by 16-year old Ainhoa Campabadal, who won in 1:56.59 after overtaking Muñoz with a very fast 3rd 50 split of 29.16 – a full second better than Muñoz was on the same leg. Despite not winning, that was another lifetime best for Muñoz.

In her next race, the 50 fly, she again took just silver. If Muñoz comes away with one disappointment in this meet, it will be there – she tied the Spanish Record in prelims with a 26.42, but in the final, she got a little slower (26.59) and Aina Hierro got a little faster, swimming 26.46 to win and almost take out the National Record again. Neither swimmer was under the time to qualify for Euros, however, which was a tall order at 25.98.

Hierro swept the women’s butterfly events, also winning the 100 fly in 59.23 and the 200 fly in 2:10.54.

She finished the day on a higher note, taking another gold medal as part of Sant Andreu’s women’s 400 free relay, which again won running-away in 3:38.55.

In the last day of competition, Muñoz was back on the top of the podiums, first with a win in the 50 free in 24.33. That was part of a 1-2 Sant Andreu finish, with Marta Gonzalez taking 2nd place in 25.18. Sant Andreu closed the meet with another relay win, topping the women’s 400 medley in 4:00.43.

Other Notable Results

  • Muñoz’s teammate Jessica Vall swept the breaststroke races. She won the 50 in 30.68 (just .01 seconds slower than her Meet Record from last year). She then cracked a Meet Record in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:05.68, beating her old mark of 1:05.81 from the 2017 edition of this meet. Marina Garcia was 2nd in that race in 1:06.73. That was Vall’s first official qualifying time for the European Championships, though Garcia came up short of the requisite time to be the 2nd swimmer for Glasgow. Then in the 200, Vall won again in 2:21.42 with Garcia 2nd in 2:22.10 – that being enough to stamp her ticket for Euros.
  • Africa Zamorano, another Sant Andreu swimmer, won both the 100 and 200 backstrokes as part of a gigantic schedule. She won the 100 back in 58.73, the 200 back in 2:05.84. While she didn’t race the 50 back, she also added medals in the 400 free (bronze), the 100 IM (bronze), and the 200 IM (silver) to go with 3 relay wins for 8 total medals.
  • Former University of Michigan All-American Bruno Ortiz, who has continued to race domestically in Spain since the Olympic Games but who hasn’t done many international competitions, was the top-awarded male at the meet with 6 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze medals, matching Muñoz with 10 total. That includes an individual gold in his best event the 100 IM (53.33); a new Championship Record and personal best in the 100 breast (58.75); and a 3rd individual gold in the men’s 50 fly (23.46). His efforts along with those of his teammate Moritz Berg helped lead Real Canoe to the men’s team title.
  • 16-year old Paula Juste Sanchez twice broke twice broke the 16-year olds National Age Record in the 200 IM, first with a 2:12.40 in prelims and then with a 2:10.49 in finals. She would later also break the record in the 400 IM with a 4:36.38. The old 200 IM record was set by the country’s best-ever swimmer Mireia Belmonte in 2009, while the old 400 IM standard belonged to Maria Vilas. Those were 3 of 14 national age group record swims set over the weekend in Spain.
  • Other national age records of note include:
    • Sara Martinez broke the 13-year olds 200 breaststroke record in 2:37.57
    • Carles Coll broke the 18-year olds record in the 100 IM twice – first with a 54.11 in prelims, and then with a 53.61 in finals to take a silver medal. He also broke the 18-year olds record in the 200 breaststroke with a 2:08.79, and in the 50 free with a 22.24.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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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