Valentine Dumont Breaks Belgian Record in 400 Free for 3rd Straight Year

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 0

August 11th, 2020 News

2020 SETTE COLLI TROPHY

Belgian swimmer Valentine Dumont, who is just a month past her 20th birthday, has broken the Belgian National Record in the women’s 400 meter freestyle.

Swimming in the fastest heat of the women’s 400 free on Tuesday at the Sette Colli Trophy, Dumont touched in 4:09.41. That cracked more than a second off her own National Record of 4:10.72 that she set at the Belgian Championships in May of 2019.

Dumont swam this same event at the 2019 World Championships, but finished just 18th in 4:12.92 – about 2 seconds slower than her best time. That was her first World Championship meet, though she did have prior experience as a member of several European Championship teams.

Dumont has now broken the Belgian Record in the 400 long course free in three consecutive seasons. When she did so for the first time at this same Sette Colli meet in 2018, swimming 4:11.12, she broke a National Record of 4:11.71 that was almost 30 years old – set in September of 1988 by Belgian swimming legend Isabelle Arnould. Arnould was a two-time Olympian for Belgium and won 2 medals at the 1993 World University Games.

While Dumont is still more than 8 seconds short of what it took to medal in this event at the World Championships, the swim does pull her closer to a potential Olympic final – times in the event drop off pretty fast globally after the top few contenders. At last year’s World Championships, it took 4:07.10 to finish in the top 8 in prelims and qualify for the final.

After Belgium had no finalists, and only 1 semifinalist, in women’s swimming at the 2016 Olympic Games, any hope at a finals swim for Dumont should give her extra attention and motivation for the next year within the federation.

Year-by-Year Progression, Valentine Dumont, Women’s 400 Free:

  • 2016 – 4:15.98
  • 2017 – 4:12.71
  • 2018 – 4:11.12 (National Record)
  • 2019 – 4:10.72 (National Record)
  • 2020 – 4:09.41 (National Record)

The 8th-place qualifier was Anna Egorova, who finished 2nd on Tuesday in 4:07.78 – a time almost as fast as she swam in those World Championship prelims.

The winner was 18-year old Italian swimmer Giulia Salin in 4:07.70. For all of their recent success, Italy didn’t enter a woman in the 400 free at the 2019 World Championships. Salin’s drop of more than 2 seconds in that swim gives her a chance at an Olympic final next year.

Dumont also holds the Belgian Records in the 100 free (54.90) and 200 free (1:58.69) in long course.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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