The top swimmer in the Mexican lineup, Maria Fernanda Gonzalez Ramirez is the latest top international female backstroker to join the training group at the Gator Swim Club, members of the team have confirmed (as has documentation from the LSC showing her as a member of the club on April 10th.)
She came to Gainesville approximately two weeks before the Olimpiada Nacional (their National Championships) in Tijuana last week. She wasn’t great at that meet, but with a FINA Automatic Qualifying Time already achieved at last year’s Olympic Games, the only Mexican to have such a mark for Worlds, she had nothing to gain by resting for an early May meet.
She joins a training group under Gregg Troy that is a popular destination for international backstrokers. Aside from American Elizabeth Beisel, it also includes Canada’s top backstroker Sinead Russell, Russia’s top male backstroker Arkady Vyatchanin, and until recently included the World Record holder in the women’s 100 Gemma Spofforth (though she retired after London).
Gonzalez ranked 47th in the world last year in the long course 100 backstroke with a 1:00.96 from the Ohio State Grand Prix, and 42nd in the 200 backstroke with a 2:10.75 from that same meet.
Gonzalez Ramirez joins the majority of the top Mexican swimmers (especially their women’s team) by training in the United States; the other three parts of their best 400 medley relay (Erica Dittmer, Rita Medrano, and Lili Ibanez) are all at Texas A&M.
Thanks to commenter “Josh” for the tip on this story.