Mireia Belmonte Absent from List of 9 Spaniards for SC Worlds


At the conclusion of the 2018 Spanish Winter Short Course National Championships, The Royal Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEN) has named a 9-swimmer roster for the 2018 World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China. All 9 swimmers who met the qualifying criteria were named to the team.

There is one notable absences from the team that will resonate globally. Mireia Belmonte missed the Spanish Championships with an ankle injury that had her on crutches as recently as last weekend. At the time, she said she wasn’t sure about her presence for Short Course Worlds, but ultimately no reprieve was given for the selection criteria from the RFEN. Belmonte also missed this year’s other big international meet for Spanish swimmers: the European Championships, where severe bouts of dizziness, among other health issues, left her sidelined.

Belmonte is a 7-time Short Course World Champion, having won 3 titiles in 2010 and 4 more in 2014. In total she has 10 World Championship medals, in spite of no podium finishes in 2016 (she swam just the 200 fly and 400 IM, and was 5th in the latter). She’s also the current Short Course World Record holder in 4 events: the 800 free, 1500 free, 200 fly, and 400 IM.

The presence of one swimmer is significant, in that he didn’t hit the qualifying standard. Joan Lluis Pons, who was among 6 swimmers pre-selected based on prior performances, didn’t hit the minimum ‘check in’ standard (the FINA “A” standard) to confirm his spot on the team at the meet. Pons, along with Belmonte and 4 others, only had to hit FINA “A” standards between August 1st and December 31st to earn invites to SC Worlds, whereas the rest of the country was held to a stiffer federation-dictated standard. Pons was unable to hit any FINA “A” standards this weekend, yet a reprieve was still grante because he swam well under the standard (4:08) in October at the Budapest World Cup. Pons was the bronze medalist in the 400 IM at this summer’s European Championships.

Spain failed to win a medal at the 2016 Short Course Championships. Their best finish there was Belmonte’s 5th place in the 400 IM and a 6th-place result in the 50 back from Miguel Ortiz. Pons and Vall are the only two returning swimmers from the 2016 roster (which was just 4 swimmers) and neither qualified for even a semi-final in Windsor.

Spanish Team for 2018 Short Course World Championships



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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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