After the Spanish Open Championships, Spain has announced 7 qualifiers for the 2019 Gwangju World Championships this summer. The meet ended with only 3 swimmers, Mireia Belmonte, Jimena Perez, and Marina Garcia, managing to meet all of the qualifications for the upcoming championships.
The president of the RFEN Fernando Carpena made the decision to allow the remaining 4 swimmers who just met one of the qualifying standards to also participate in the Worlds meet after such a low number. The qualified swimmers list now includes:
- Mireia Belmonte: 800 free, 1500 free 400 IM
- Jimena Perez: 1500 free
- Marina Garcia: 200 breast
- Hugo Gonzalez: 200 IM
- Africa Zamorano: 200 back
- Jessica Vall: 100 breast
- Juan Francisco Segura: 50 back
Since the standards set by the RFEN Fernado Carpena of Spain are more difficult to achieve than the FINA “A” standards, this resulted in the minuscule number of Spanish qualifiers. Another result of the underwhelming Spanish championships was Albert Tubella, the Technical Director of Swimming for RFEN, being terminated. To extend grace to the swimmers, the RFEN also announced one more qualifying meet, the Barcelona Grand Prix in mid-June, for an extra chance at hitting the FINA “A” standards.
At the 2017 World Championships, Spain qualified only 8 swimmers. Belmonte, Perez, Gonzalez, Zamorano, and Vall were members of that 2017 team. Belmonte was able to earn 3 medals for Spain, including silver in the 400 IM and 1500 free and gold in the 200 fly, which she has not qualified for at the moment.
Since 2013, Spain’s roster size has noticeably decreased. At the 2013 Barcelona championships, Spain was able to send 20 swimmers to represent the host nation at the time. There, Belmonte won 3 medals (2 silver, 1 bronze) while Melanie Costa earned a silver of her own to achieve 4 medals. In 2015, the roster number shrunk to 14 swimmers and Jessica Vall was the lone medalist (200 breast bronze).