BARCELONA, Spain, July 19. MIREIA Belmonte continued her preparation for next month’s European championships with a national record in the 1500 freestyle, just one of several impressive swims from the five-day meet.
Belmonte posted a 15:58.03, beating the 15:58.07 she posted at the April nationals. Her new time doesn’t make an impact on the world rankings as it keeps her second in the world behind Katie Ledecky’s amazing 15:34.23 as the world record.
Belmonte won two other events at the Picornell Pool in Barcelona, the site of the swimming competition at the 1992 Olympics. She posted an 8:26.74 in the 800 free and a meet record 4:35.69 in the 400 IM. Belmonte didn’t improve on her season bests in the 800 free and 400 IM, but was not too far off those top times. She couldn’t get to the top of the podium in the 200 fly as Judit Ignacio’s 2:08.28 was too much for Belmonte and her 2:09.33.
Fatima Gallardo also set a national record with a 55.08 in the 100 free to beat Melanie Costa’s 55.17 from last year. Costa couldn’t match the time, placing second with a 55.84. Earlier in the meet, Gallardo won the 50 free with a 25.54.
Melanie Costa, a world championships medalist in the 400 free, won three women’s events. She won the 400 free with a 4:09.73, the 200 free with a 1:58.12 and the 200 back with a 2:11.98. Also winning three races was Jessica Vall, who swept the breaststroke events in meet record time. She swam a 31.45 in the 50 breaststroke, lowering the record of 31.69 she set in prelims. Next up was the 100 breast with a 1:07.75, obliterating the meet record of 1:10.17, and the 200 breast to wrap up her meet with a 2:25.37 to beat the meet record of 2:28.74.
Besides Belmonte’s 400 IM swim, four more meet records fell at the meet. Mercedes Peris took the women’s 50 back with a 28.16 after posting a 28.24 to first break the meet record in prelims. Duane Da Rocha won the women’s 100 back with another meet record time of 1:01.32, dipping under the meet record of 1:01.37 she set last year.
Carmen Balbuena posted a 59.64 in the women’s 100 fly to take down the meet record of 59.92, while Beatriz Gomez swam a 2:14.00 in the 200 IM to beat the meet mark of 2:14.67. Also winning a national title was Carmen Herrero with a 27.77 in the 200 butterfly.
In the men’s meet, Poland’s Konrad Czerniak, the bronze medalist in the 100 fly last year at worlds in Barcelona, took the title in the Catalonian capital with a meet record 52.58 this weekend. Czerniak couldn’t match his 51.89 from the Polish nationals that stands in a tie for sixth in the world. The Pole followed that up with a 48.98 in the 100 free for another meet record. Federico Grabich nearly took down Eduard Lorente’s national record of 49.34 with his runner-up time of 49.43.
Brazil’s Felipe Lima, who just missed out on selection for the Pan Pacific championships, won the 50 breast with a 27.76. He had posted a meet record time of 27.56 in prelims that improved his season best by nine hundredths of a second. Lima was also the champion in the 100 breast with a 1:01.45.
Alejandro Garcia was responsible for a meet record in the 400 IM, where Garcia won with a 4:16.61 to beat the meet record of 4:17.21 set by Eduardo Solache. He followed that up with a 2:01.67 to win the 200 back and a 2:02.11 in the 200 IM to barely beat out Alan Cabello’s 2:02.25.
Federico Grabich was another three-time winner, taking the 50 free (22.58), 50 back (25.60) and 100 back (55.32). Another multiple winner was Marc Sanchez, who won the 800 free with an 8:03.43 and the 1500 free with a 15:21.27 over Antonio Arroyo’s 15:21.48.
Carlos Perrata nearly broke his own meet record in winning the 200 fly, posting a 1:58.17 to miss out on the meet mark of 1:58.01. Albert Puig took the title in the 200 free with a 1:49.58, while Arnau Rovira won the 400 free with a 3:53.57.
Carlos Claverie took the 200 breast title with a 2:12.93, while Jose Valdivia rounded out the men’s champions with a 23.98 in the 50 fly.