Munoz Opens 2020 Catalonia Open With New 50 Fr Meet Record


Night one of the 2020 Catalonia Open Championships featured prelim swimming for both the men’s and women’s 400 free, 100 fly, 100 breast, 200 back, 50 free, 200 IM and 4×100 free.

Lidon Munoz‘s 1:01.52 100 fly was fast enough to overtake 100 fly top seed, Judit Ignacio in prelims. At last year’s 2019 Spanish Short Course Swimming Championships, the most recent Spanish Championship meet, Munoz took gold in the 100 fly as a part of a successful butterfly sweep. Going into the final, Alba Guillamon sits at second with a 1:01.90, closely followed by Lidia Huete’s 1:01.91 for third. Ignacio, meanwhile, fell to 7th place in the race, swimming a 1:03.01.

Munoz also hit the top time of the night in the 50 free, with a 25.52, which was also fast enough to set a new meet record. Munoz has a crowded schedule this weekend, when she’s entered to race both the 100 fly and 50 free finals, along with the individual 50 fly, 50 back and 100 back and 200 free.

Olympic medalist Mireia Belmonte started on her busy event schedule, racing both the 400 free and 200 IM. Belmonte raced to a second place finish in the 400 free prelims with a 4:18.39, just off fellow Olympian Melani Costa’s 4:17.15. Belmonte and Costa will go head-to-head for gold in the finals.

In her second prelim of the day, Belmonte swam a 2:18.92 200 IM, securing the top spot heading into the final. Jessica Vall was right behind Belmonte, with a 2:19.21 and Paula Sanchez was third, swimming a 2:21.03.

2016 Olympian Jessica Vall also swam the 100 breast, finishing far ahead of the field in the, with a 1:10.29. Despite being a few seconds slower than her recent 1:07.46 at 2019 Worlds, Vall will have another opportunity to race tomorrow morning with a clear shot for gold. Vall with face stiffer competition in the 200 breast on Saturday, where Martina Garcia joins the race. Garcia and Vall are two of Spain’s top breaststrokers, having both swam the 200 breast in Gwangju this summer.

Distance men Miguel Duran and Albert Escrits Manosa raced the 400 free prelim, each swimming a couple seconds over their entry times. Manosa finished as top seed with a 3:55.40, Duran trailing slightly with a 3:56.93. Tomorrow’s final will serve as a rematch, following the 2019 Spanish Short Course Championships, where Duran and Manosa went 1-2 in the 400 and swam a 3:44.16 and 3:44.80, respectively.

Despite not scoring any top seeds going into the finals, Olympic finalist Joan Lluis Pons had a busy session, racing 4 out of 6 individual events. He started his meet with a 10th place finish in the 400 free, which just made it into the A final in the 10-lane pool. Pons’ second event, which directly followed the 400, was the 100 fly and he hit a 58.42 for a 13th place finish. Pons’ last two events were 200 back and 200 IM, in which he claimed second and third seed, respectively, advancing to both A finals.

Top seed in the 200 back was Jan Giralt, with Carles Coll advancing first in the 200 IM.

Racing continues tomorrow with Friday morning finals starting at 9:30 in Catalonia (3:30 am ET).

Additional Top Seeds After Day 1 Prelims

  • Men’s 100 fly: Alberto Lozano (55.33)
  • Men’s 100 breast: Joan Ballester (1:04.11)
  • Men’s 50 free: Carles Coll (23.55)
  • Women’s 200 back: Cristina Garcia (2:16.76)

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