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Catalan swimmer Mireia Belmonte wins bronze medal in 400m at Rio Olympics

The first medal for the Spanish delegation at the Rio Olympics was brought this Saturday by Catalan swimmer Mireia Belmonte. The record holder from Club NatacióSabadell came third in the women’s 400-metre individual medley, behind Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, who obtained the gold medal, and Maya DiRado from the US, who obtained the silver. The Catalan winner’s registered time was 4:32:39. Thus, Belmonte added a third medal to the two she obtained at the London Olympics in 2012, a silver medal in the 200-metre butterfly and another silver in the 800-metre freestyle. However, Belmonte couldn’t qualify for the 400-metre freestyle. Another Catalan swimmer, Jessica Vall, did classify for the 100-metre breaststroke semi-final. There are 97 Catalans sportsmen and women participating at the Rio Olympics, which represents the highest figure ever, being only higher for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

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08 August 2016 06:43 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan swimmer Mireia Belmonte brought this Saturday the first medal for the Spanish delegation at the Rio Olympics. Belmonte obtained the bronze in the women’s 400-metre individual medley, behind Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, who came first, and Maya DiRado from the US, who obtained the silver medal. The Catalan winner’s registered time was 4:32:39. On the other hand, Belmonte failed to classify for the 400-metre freestyle. Another Catalan swimmer, Jessica Vall, did classify for the 100-metre breaststroke semi-final. Belmonte’s bronze is the third medal for the Catalan swimmer, who obtained two silvers at the London Olympics in 2012, one in the 200-metre butterfly and the other in the 800-metre freestyle. In total, there are 97 Catalans in the 304-person Spanish delegation which will participate in 18 different categories.


Belmonte broke her own record in the 400-metre individual medley which she achieved at Spain’s Open, last March. Then, she registered 4:33:42 and her record at the Rio Olympics was slightly better, 4:32:39. Although Belmonte failed to qualify for the 400-metre freestyle , she still aspires to win in three other individual disciplines, the 200-metre butterfly, the 200-metre individual medley and the 800-metre freestyle. She also aims to obtain a medal in the group discipline relay race the 4x200m freestyle.

Another Catalan swimmer, Jessica Vall, did qualify for the 100-metre breaststroke semi-final.

Nearly a third of the Spanish delegation are Catalan

There are 97 Catalans sportsmen and women participating at the Rio Olympics, which represents the second-highest figure ever, being only higher for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. This number is almost a third part of the 304 in the Spanish delegation. Catalan participation at the Olympics started in 1900 in Paris and more than one thousand have taken part in the world’s most important sporting event since then.

Catalan participation in Rio is found in 18 different categories, two more than at the last Olympic Games, London 2012. Water sports are those which have the highest number of Catalan representatives, 8 in total, which go from swimming to water polo, all the way up to canoeing and synchronised swimming, with Gemma Mengual, who obtained two silvers at Beijing 2008, as one of its strongest assets. 

Athletics also reunites many Catalan sportsmen and women. One of the most veteran, walker  Jesús Àngel García Bragado, will be participating in his seventh Olympics. Raquel Gonzàlez and Beatriz Pascual also have a chance of a medal in the 20-kilometre walk while Ilias Fifa and Adel Mechaal are amongst the most outstanding names in the 5,000-metre category.  

International stars such as basketball players Pau Gasol and Ricky Rubio and cyclist Joaquim ‘Purito’Rodríguez will combine with less famous sportsmen but firm candidates to win medals in hockey, rugby and taekwondo amongst other categories.

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  • The Catalan swimmer Mireia Belmonte, who won the bronze medal in the 400m in Rio (by David Gray / Reuters)

  • The Catalan swimmer Mireia Belmonte, who won the bronze medal in the 400m in Rio (by David Gray / Reuters)