Dubai, Day 4: Belmonte Garcia (ESP), a Star is born
The 10th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) consecrated a new star in the women’s events, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia. Swimming in lane 8 of the 200m individual medley final, Belmonte Garcia got the gold in a new championships record of 2:05.73 and collected her fourth medal in the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex – after the victories in the 400m IM and 200m butterfly, and the silver in the 800m free. An amazing performance in the most demanding races of the programme, proving that the 20-year-old Catalonian (she was born and lives in Barcelona) world revelation has a bright future. At European level, the Spaniard had collected a gold medal in the 2008 long course championships also in the 200m IM, while in 25m-pool, her most brilliant moment had been the triumph in the 400m IM, also in 2008.
In Dubai, Belmonte Garcia is displaying an outstanding resistance and versatility, and for her latest achievement, she defeated China’s Shiwen Ye (14 years old and winner of the 200m and 400m IM at the Asian Games), and US Ariana Kukors, winner of the 100m IM on Day 3 (and of the 200m IM at the 2009 Worlds in Rome). Ye got the silver in 2:05.94, while Kukors was third in 2:06.09. The Hungarian team is definitively not shining in Dubai, with Katinka Hosszu and Evelin Verraszto (2010 short course European champion) in fourth and fifth position respectively.
Dubai, Day 3: Lochte imperial sets WR in the 200m IM
Ryan Lochte (USA) obtained his fourth medal at the 10th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) – and 19th since 2004 -, with a superb new World Record in the men’s 200m individual medley and the highlight of the third day of the competition in Dubai. Touching first in 1:50.08, he improved the previous world best mark established by Darian Townsend (RSA) in November 2009, in a time of 1:51.55. Lochte, already with one WR in Dubai (in the 400m IM) and medals also in the 200m free (gold) and 4x200m free (silver) performed a solitary race, leaving Markus Rogan (AUT) with the silver in a time of 1:52.90 and Scott Clary (USA) with the bronze (1:53.56). Nothing seems to stop Lochte, also with a very successful career in 50m-pool: six Olympic and 13 world medals.
“I always get better after the first day, but I race for fun, so what comes as outcome I take it! These results just get me ready for the 2011 Worlds in Shanghai and the Olympics in 2012,” considered Lochte about his performances so far in Dubai. Asked about his personality, he confessed: “I am just being myself, and let my personality to come out (like with the story of the shoes…), in order to attract more people to swimming. My overall goal in swimming is just to make it bigger than it is now. I think Phelps started with all that and made the Sport bigger than what it was before. I just try to help in that effort”.