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Catalan swimmer Mireia Belmonte brings first gold for Spain at Rio Olympics

Mireia Belmonte won the 200-metre butterfly this Wednesday and became the first Spanish woman to win an Olympic swimming gold medal. The 25-year-old, trained at Club Natació Sabadell, not only improved her result obtained four years ago in London, where she obtained the silver medal, but registered the fastest time so far this year, 2 minutes 4.85 seconds, beating Australian Maddie Groves by three hundredths of a second. World champion Natsumi Hoshi came third. Belmonte’s gold is to be added to the bronze in the women’s 400m individual medley on Saturday, which was also the first for Spain in any sport at Rio Olympics. The Catalan swimmer’s four medal career haul makes her Spain’s most successful swimmer.

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11 August 2016 10:57 AM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- Catalan swimmer Mireia Belmonte made history this Wednesday night at Rio Olympics. The silver medallist from London four years ago went a step better in Rio and won the 200-metre butterfly, bringing not only the first gold for Spain in these Games but also becoming the first Spanish woman to win an Olympic swimming gold medal. The 25-year-old, trained at Club Natació Sabadell, registered the fastest time so far this year, 2 minutes 4.85 seconds, beating Australian Maddie Groves by three hundredths of a second. World champion Natsumi Hoshi came third. Belmonte’s gold is to be added to the bronze in the women’s 400m individual medley she obtained on Saturday and to the two silvers she obtained at the London Olympics in 2012, one in the 200-metre butterfly and the other in the 800-metre freestyle.  


Belmonte secured her first position thanks to a breath-taking last-minute sprint and overtook Australian Madeline Grove by three hundredths of second. Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, who already has three golds in Rio, withdrew from the heats on Tuesday to focus on other events. “This has been a beautiful day and would be difficult to forget it”, stated Belmonte during a press conference right after her victory. The Catalan swimmer explained that her gold medal was the result “of many hard-working days” and assured that she is very happy to “have achieved a dream”, even moreso bearing in mind that a couple of months ago her attendance at the Rio Olympics wasn’t even clear, due to a serious injury. Her victory was the first for Spain in the Olympic pool since Martin Lopez Zubero won the men’s 200m backstroke in Barcelona in 1992. With four Olympic medals, Belmonte is only one medal away from equalling David Cal’s record, who is the Spaniard with the highest number of Olympic medals, with a 5 medal career haul.

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  • Catalan swimmer Mireia Belmonte beating her gold medal in 200 m butterfly at Rio Olympics (by David Gray / Reuters)

  • Catalan swimmer Mireia Belmonte beating her gold medal in 200 m butterfly at Rio Olympics (by David Gray / Reuters)