Olympic champion Mireia Belmonte of Spain had a rather quiet 2018 in the pool, having pulled out of last year’s Spanish Short Course Championships, European Championships and Short Course World Championships. The 28-year-old suffered bouts of dizziness, an ankle injury and other health problems and chose to follow the recommendation of her doctor to use last year as a time to finally get her health back on track.
And, reportedly Belmonte has indeed done just that, now back in full training and getting in shape with a motivated mind. The Spanish Championships, which serve as the qualifying meet for this year’s World Championships, are slated for April, giving Belmonte enough time to prepare for her stated quest to ultimately take down the 200m butterfly European Record either this summer or next.
Her French coach Fred Vergnoux told Spanish media last week, “Mireia has returned happy after the transition phase that we had planned after the summer, she trains very well. It is Mireia that we like to see everyone and me in particular, so involved.”
The swimmer herself said,”I started with great desire this 2019. I started training barely a month ago and I’m getting in shape. I take it with patience and trying to enjoy what I do every day.”
Belmonte has already gotten some racing under her belt this year with little training, having competed at the Campeonato de Cataluna Absolute Open in January. The versatile swimmer established a baseline off of which to gauge her training ongoing, finishing well-off her usual stellar times.
She took bronze in the 800m free in 8:51.12, while also settling for the same result in the 1500m with a clocking of 17:00.47. For perspective, Belmonte is the Spanish National Record holder in each event, owning a personal best of 8:18.55 in the former and 15:50.89 in the latter.