At the Spanish National Championships in March Melanie Costa-Schmid qualified for the World Championships in the 200 and 400 freestyle as well as the 4 x 200 freestyle relay. At the same meet she broke the Spanish record in the 100 freestyle posting a time of 55.15, which broke Maria Fuster Martinez‘s 2009 record of 55.19.
In a recent interview with SomBalears (sombalears.es) she talked about her development as a swimmer, her experiences at two Olympics and her excitement about performing in front of her fellow Spaniards in Barcelona.
Costa-Schmid made her first Olympic team at the age of 19, competing in Beijing in the 200 freestyle and 4 x 200 freestyle relay and took a lot from the experience, “Being there for the first time is unforgettable,” said Costa-Schmid
“I went not knowing what I was going to face really, and the truth is that I could make a good participation (entered semifinals in the 200 free). But above all helped me to learn, I was aware of everything, absorbing everything. I got to know what supposed to be in the Games, the pressure, the temperature, the athletes, the public, other sports …”
When asked what made the biggest impression on her, she spoke about the opportunity to be part of a team representing her country, “The Spanish team bonding. We were from different sports, but we all got together to encourage each other, congratulate, get together for the Villa … We were a Spanish delegation itself.”
After Beijing she had the opportunity to train and compete for the University of Florida. It was in Gainesville where she learned to be a much more confident competitor, “They taught me to rely much more on myself as a swimmer. They made me understand that I could be at the highest level, because I was training with world champions, and saw that they were people like me.”
Her second Olympics in London did not go as well as she had hoped placing ninth in both the 200 and 400 freestyle, missing the final in the 200 by only 19 one-hundredths of a second.
Since that point the 24 year old Spaniard has had some amazing performances highlighted by winning the 400 freestyle and placing third in the 200 freestyle at 2012 World Short Course Championships in Istanbul.
Costa-Schmid won the 400 freestyle in a thrilling race, beating out American Chloe Sutton and Kiwi Lauren Boyle, with all three women finishing within six one-hundredths of a second of each other (Costa – 4:01.18, Sutton – 4:01.20 and Boyle – 4:01.24).
Heading into the World Championships in Barcelona Costa-Schmid is extremely excited to be competing in front of her fellow countrymen and women, “I have a lot of hope, because just think that almost all the supporters will be Spanish, it will be your people, you will be supporting … is a great motivation.”
Heading into Barcelona Costa-Schmid is currently ranked seventh in the 400 freestyle (4:06.02) and 18th in the 200 freestyle (1:58.15).You can read the full article here.