Mireia Belmonte Back In Business As Konrad Czerniak Speeds Up For Summer Selection

Mireia Belmonte - by P atrick B. Kraemer

Mireia Belmonte and Poland’s Konrad Czerniak both emerged from Spanish Spring Nationals that ended in Barcelona yesterday with world No1-ranked swims and a serious of performances sit to instil confidence in Olympic year

All SwimVortex articles are placed in our archive after five days, the library of content available to subscribers.
Log In Register


paolo rubbiani

Slight corrections, Craig..

The last day of competition Mireia Belmonte scratched the 400 free which have been won by Melani Costa in 4.07.76.
On the men’s side, NR in the heats for Miguel Duran with a 3.48.96.

In the 200 im, other NR in the heats for Eduardo Solaeche with 1.58.80, whilst it isn’t a NR but a Championship record the 1.00.33 swum by Duane Da Roche to win the 100 back final (the Spanish record remains the 1.00.29 swum by Nina Zhivanevskaya at 2008 European Champ in Eindhoven).

The best time for Hugo Gonzalez was the 1.57.00 he swam (again) in the heats of 200 backstroke. The last day of competition Gonzalez has also won the 100 back final with a PB (and age group record) of 54.70.

Felix Sanchez

Your illness Craig? Get well soon.

Encouraging March time for Czerniak in the 100fly. It’s about time the sprinters flexed their muscles a bit in the 100fly. When Phleps did those Olympic fly doubles he was the only guy in both finals – now he’s got Cseh and Le Clos as his biggest 100 competition! Where are the heirs to Crocker?


It’s a good thing for Mireia that 400 IM (her second strongest event after 200 fly) will fall on the first day in Rio, making her fresh for the event.

The downside?
Hosszu will also be fresh.

400 IM will be a titanic battle between Hosszu, Belmonte and Di Rado, that is, if Hosszu is not running away with it.

Craig Lord

Thanks paolo for the updates… all in ranks (rest of meet goes in as and when during the week … I genuinely don’t sit here doing nothing else :). 400 – brainstorm – corrected, an explanation added (she was ill) and a quote from Fred… 🙂

Dan smith

Di rado has not proven to be a consistently superfast 400im,er unlike hozzhu and belmonte especially hozzhu. Consistency is key in a brutal race like the 400im but Di rado has shown she will be in contention for a medal, I,m not just sure of a gold medal. The gold is going to hozzhu baring injury or illness. She,s pretty much the only woman right now that can go 4:28 right now.

paolo rubbiani

Thanks Craig, always interesting reading Vergnoux words about Mireia and, yes, at European Champs in London there will the final step of Spanish Olympic selection process.

Just a comment about Di Rado, my favorite medley swimmer on the women’s side with her beautiful, smooth backstroke.
I think that last year Worlds have been a turning point for her: she has definitely gained a lot of confidence and I’m almost sure she will improve her PBs this season.
Unfortunately for her, Mireia, Beisel, Overholt, Willmott (in good form this season), Miley etc, I also think that Hosszu will be ready to swim, the first day of competition at Rio, the new WR in the 400 im (about 200 im she’s simply too strong).
I know that Craig doesn’t completely agree, but I think that Hosszu is a strong favorite for the double gold in the medleys.

paolo rubbiani

Edit: there will be the final step..

Jose Peña

Hosszu and Belmonte are the favourites for gold in the 400 I.M. I think that both of them are able to swim under 4.29.

The race will be fantastic and I bet that Hosszu will be ahead after the two first strokes and then Mireia will try to catch her in breast and free.

May the best win !!

Craig Lord

I do agree, paolo – she’s clear favourite – I just don’t think she’s a ‘cert’ – she can be beaten, like everyone.


I won’t insist on accuracy of the following observations but Hosszu’s best times were shown in out- of-competition races. It looks like she is a narrow tuned machine and any psychological disturbances make her performance worse. Whenever her times were slower than reasonably expected there were tight races. I have to admit that It mostly was observed in freestyle and back style competition where she raced against style specialists which she is not. The Olympic 2012 race at 400Im was also very tense and she failed badly. Despite it was a prehistoric time on Hosszu’s performance time line I still see it matching the pattern. So, if Belmonte ( or whoever is in the position to challenge her in the middle of 400ImlM) forces her to adjust the race tactic then she will lose the race. That is how I see it and that can be of course terribly wrong 🙂

mingo freire

i agree with peña. Belmonte is the recordwoman of 400 IM sc 4.19 beating hoszzu. certainly, she improve her turns a lot but still worse than katinka. If mireia come back as 2014 i’m sure she could swim under 4.30. the difference between LC an d SC for a woman is less than 10 s, even for katinka the woman with best turns in the world and certainly to mireia. if injuries respect her she can make a 4.28 the first day of the olympics. the outsiders are dirado, miley, and especially overholt …

Felix Sanchez

Belmonte’s walls may not be quite as ‘clean’ as Hosszu, but she gets so much out of each turn in the s/c it’s big shout to give her a +10s conversion. Especially so when breaststroke is the (relative) weakness – it can be hidden so much better in the small pool.

She’s never broken 4.31, has she. Sub-4.29 is a big shout.


Belmonte’s never broken 4:32 and had barely broken 4:33 once.
Maybe it reflects the specific of 400IM but both Hosszu and Belmonte were not consistent with in-season races and showed exceptional times at big meets. This season Hosszu was 4:33 in January, 4:32 in February, 4:29 in March. What is it for right now? Is something powerful going within her system that she just cannot swim s lower? 🙂

Craig Lord

Mireia B has broken 4:32, Yozhik: 4:31.21 2013 world titles.

Jorge Abril

Yes Craig, from 2013. Three yeas ago!

Craig Lord

Thanks Felix


Thanks Craig for correction. This particular Belmonte’s race I’ve missed.



not sure why you based Hosszu’s Rio chances on what happened in 2012 London. That would be like basing Sjostrom’s chances in Rio based on what happened in 2012 London (Sjostorm, just like Hosszu, has never won an Olympics medal).

Hosszu of 2016 is a galaxy away from Hosszu of 2012. Since 2012, she has improved significantly her textile PBs in ALL of individual events with the exception of 200 fly.


Asf, you didn’t get my point. I wanted to share a great discovery ( 🙂 ) that dispite Hosszu is ( as you nicely put it) a galaxy away in her physical form now from what we saw in 2012, mentally and emotionally she remains the same. That is she is a poor racer. The race in London was used to demonstrate this point. If you find time to re-read my comment I hope you will notice that I haven’t even call it my opinion, but an observation that can be inaccurate because of insufficient number of races used to be conclusive. My point was very simple – if one wants to beat Hosszu at 400IM then she has to involve Hosszu in actual racing. Don’t give Hosszu the luxury to swim the way she used to do when there is nobody around annoying her, when she can split her efforts between each leg the most suitable to her way.
The only thing that I respect IM race for is the tactical ability to split the efforts between different styles the most efficient way. There are plenty of combinations of doing that. The strong discipline is required not to panic and to stick with race plan regardless if competitors got well ahead ( I don’t mean the last leg of course 🙂 ) The desire to get a lead from the very beginning at fly or spending to much energy at breaststroke can be costly for Hosszu, especially if someone decides to finish faster 59 sec ( 🙂 )


It is strange to see in a perfectly muscled body like Katinka Hosszú with a paunch before competing as if her abdomen has air more or hide any material for greater floatability once finished the competition the belly becomes flat, this alteration would have to control the judges
this link you can see Hosszu with three companions where the three have a flat stomach and a strange belly looks katika
this link an exaggerated belly for a muscled swimmer seen


Some people can have genetically-based paunchy stomach.


Strange that this swollen belly appears at the time of the competition minutes before and after the competition not appear ????????????

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!