Spain Hosting World Championships With 14 Swimmers Representing Home Country

PONTEVEDRA, Spain, March 26. FOURTEEN swimmers will represent Spain at the summer world championships, to be held in the Spanish capital of Barcelona. On the fourth and final day of the country's nationals, only one new swimmer was added to the roster, while others added more events to their schedule.

Rafael Munoz was that final swimmer to be added to the roster, winning the final event of the meet, the men's 50 fly. Munoz won the bronze medal in the 50 butterfly at the 2009 world championships, and will be looking to get back on that podium in his home country. He won the event at nationals with a 23.27. Paraguay's Benjamin Hockin, known mostly as a backstroker, was second with a 23.98, while Poland's Konrad Czerniak took third with a 24.04.

Mireia Belmonte will be swimming six individual events at the world championships, adding the 400 freestyle and 200 IM to an already crowded schedule after already qualifying in the 800 free, 1500 free, 200 fly and 400 IM. Belmonte won the 400 free with a national record time of 4:05.63, besting her mark of 4:05.45 that she swam last May at the European championships. Her time from this week would have placed sixth at the 2012 Olympics, but Belmonte could only manage a 13th-place finish there with a 4:08.23. Melanie Costa also qualified for worlds in the 400 free with a runner-up time of 4:06.02, giving her a second event, along with the 200 free.

Belmonte's time of 2:10.67 in the 200 IM was overshadowed by Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos' winning time of 2:10.35, though Belmonte was close to her national record of 2:10.26 from 2011. In placing third, Beatriz Gomez qualified for a third event with her time of 2:12.09.

Costa broke the national record in the 100 free semifinals with a 55.15, but could not match it in finals, winning with a 55.22.

Marina Garcia, who had already qualified in the 50 breast, added the 200 breast to her worlds schedule with a winning time of 2:25.77, less than a second off her national record of 2:24.83.

Duane da Rocha will compete in the 50 and 100 backstrokes in Barcelona, winning the 100 on the final day of the meet with a 1:01.31.

Aschwin Wildeboer, the former world record holder in the 100 backstroke, would have been able to compete in the 100 back at worlds with his winning time of 54.57 as it beats the FINA B cut needed for only one swimmer per country to race in an event. But the Spanish swimming federation only has Wildeboer listed as competing in the 50 backstroke this summer.

In other events, Arnau Rovira won the men's 400 free with a 3:54.92, ahead of Marc Sanchez's 3:55.20. Sergio Garcia won the men's 200 breast with a 2:16.26, while Albert Puig took the men's 200 IM with a 2:01.64.

Foreigners took the three podium spots in the men's 100 freestyle, with Czerniak and Italy's Luca Dotto tying with matching performances of 49.55. Hockin was third with a 49.64.

Full Spanish world championship roster:

Mireia Belmonte: 400 free, 800 free, 1500 free, 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 fly
Patricia Castro: 200 free
Melanie Costa: 200 free, 400 free
Duane da Rocha: 50 back, 100 back
Marina Garcia: 50 breast, 200 breast
Beatriz Gomez: 200 IM, 400 IM, 800 free
Judit Ignacio: 200 fly
Rafael Munoz: 50 fly
Mercedes Peris: 50 back
Juan Rando: 50 back
Marc Sanchez: 1500 free
Jessica Vall: 50 breast
Erika Villaecija: 1500 free
Aschwin Wildeboer: 50 back