Tomas Rodriguez Contributed to this Report
Following suit with the widespread closures and cancellations world wide today, the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation (RSSF) made the decision to suspend their upcoming Olympic Trials. The meet was set to run from April 1 – April 5th in the city of Malaga. The situation mirrors the timeline of many other meets and competitions which have moved from running as planned, to running without spectators, to cancelled all-together.
These cancellations add to the earlier-announced cancellation of the XL Spanish Children’s Winter Swimming Championships. The new cancellations are as follows:
- Spanish junior and senior national artistic swimming winter championships.
- Men’s and women’s water polo national championships by state teams.
- Spanish national masters swimming winter championships.
- Spain’s national water polo leagues canceled until the end of the month.
In addition, the two major training epicenters for swimming serving the Spanish capital of Madrid have also suspended their activities temporarily as a result of the outbreak, per Spanish sports outlet Marca.
Earlier this week, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez revealed that an ‘action plan’ was being developed by the government and would be announced this week. Another measure being implemented as part of this plan is a ban on all flights between Italy and Spain, effective until March 25. Italy, which has the second-most confirmed cases in the world behind China, previously cancelled their Olympic Trials as well.
As of publishing, there were 3,146 confirmed cases in Spain, per the website worldometers.info. Out of those, 86 have died.
Reigning Olympic 200 butterfly champion, Mireia Belmonte was slated to vie for a spot on her 4th straight Olympic squad. Belmonte currently holds top 10 world rankings this season in four events; the 400 free (5th), 800 free (4th), 1500 free (9th), and the 400 IM (4th). With these rankings, and several more nation leading times this season she will have a clear shot at the team, along with several potential podium finishes.
Belmonte would have been joined by many other of Spain’s top swimmers including the rest of the 9-athlete roster who represented Spain at last year’s World Champs;
|Mireia Belmonte||UCAM Fuensanta||400/800/1500 freestyle, 200/400 IM, 200 butterfly|
|Marina García||CN Sabadell||100/200 breaststroke|
|Lidón Muñoz||CN Sant Andreu||50/100 freestyle|
|Jimena Pérez||CN Gredos San Diego||800/1500 freestyle, 400 IM|
|Jessica Vall||CN Sant Andreu||50/100/200 breaststroke|
|África Zamorano||CN Sant Andreu||100/200 backstroke|
|Hugo González||Real Canoe||100/200 backstroke, 200 IM|
|Juan Francisco Segura||Real Canoe||50/100 backstroke|
|Joan Lluis Pons||CN Sant Andreu||200 butterfly, 400 IM|
It is unclear yet, how the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation plans to alter their selection process to accommodate this cancellation and if trials will be held later on in the year.