Mireia Belmonte & Hannah Miley Aim High Through Shared Pain With Gain In Spain

Sisters of shared experience Hannah Miley and Mireia Belmonte [Images of Belmonte by Patrick B. Kraemer; of Miley courtesy of arena]

As the 2015 season unfolds and we head towards national trials and the first true tests of rested speed, SwimVortex takes a look at friends and rivals, world-class swimmers and their coaches who join forces to find further gains on the path of progress: Mireia Belmonte and Hannah Miley; Fred Vergnoux and Patrick Miley

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As the 2015 season unfolds and we head towards national trials and the first true tests of rested speed, SwimVortex takes a look at friends and rivals, world-class swimmers and their coaches who join forces to find further gains on the path of progress: Mireia Belmonte and Hannah Miley; Fred Vergnoux and Patrick Miley



I hope Ms. Miley has improved her butterfly after sharing training with Ms. Belmonte. Ditto with respect to the last hundred meters freestyle. I look forward to the 400m medley race at world’s this summer: Hoszu, Belmonte, Ye, Miley, Coventry (possible?). I also hope Ms. McMaster and Ms. Wilmott will both be able to drop a few more seconds by that time.


Miley has been around internationally for 7-8 years and the story has seemed to be “nearly but not quite there” when it’s came down to the very big one (Olympics). Does she have it to make that extra step ? She’s sound enough across the board but perhaps the deciding factor is that she’s not quite of the standard to medal/finals (at World/Oly) in any stroke whereas so many key contenders like Coventry, Beisel, Rice, Belmonte have been ?

Craig Lord

Commonwombat, Hannah took silver at the 2011 world championships l/c Shanghai…400IM Olympics the only podium yet missing from her treasury.


I think Hannah is a great swimmer, and i root for her whenever she swims, however there is always a dissatisfaction (for lack of a better word) when i see her swim. Its got nothing to do with the effort she puts in, its more like there is a missing ingredient or another gear that never gets shifted.

She is sound across all strokes, and has quite an extraordinary technique, and i think she has the capability of producing something really special (WR).

Her ability across the first 300m is something quite outstanding, while that last 100m leaves something to be desired. Especially because we all know what she is capable of in a 2 or 400m freestyle.

I hope this will help her reach a level that I am certain she is capable of. GO HANNAH!

Craig Lord

Mid 200 is sensational, Wez; her ‘fly has been getting better but leaves her lagging a few of her main rivals… she adjusts to that really well but if she could be a touch closer at ‘easy’ speed (relatively speaking, of course), you never know… similar story for Elizabeth Beisel in terms of the balance of parts.

Bad Anon

If Miley can bring hone the 400im in 1.02 or better she can definitely threaten 4.30. however the depthof the event forces swimmers to go 4.34 in the heats to guarantee an evening swim. young swimmers like ledecky can easily cope with fast heat swims and so could Ye 4.31heats 4.28finals.. in beijing rice and coventry could afford to be conservative in the heats 4.35/4.36. that luxury doesnt exist nowadays
. me thinks 4.31 will be good enough podium place kazan and rio as well

Bad Anon

4.34 in textile isnt that “conservative”

Craig Lord

No, indeed not, Bad Anon … and any 4:30 swim is sharp cutting edge in textile, a touch tougher than some appear to think 🙂

Bad Anon

and 4.34 in textile is very fast!

Bad Anon

If we go by the short course worlds last december; Belmonte is one i’d favour to crack 4.30. her ability to finish strong will almost guarantee her a medal. Hosszu faded badly @ the European champs although she still won. Beisel was solid @ pan pacs. Ye hasnt quite regained her olympic form. Miley will need to replicate her performance from glasgow to be in the mix. 400im is now more competitive than ever before


Craig, was well aware of her medal at 2011 Worlds hence my reference to the Olympics where she’s fallen short. Was, and am, in now way “dissing” her just contemplating what may be the separating factor between her and those who’ve “collected the coin” ahead of her.

Unlike most of the other main contenders, she has never been a major factor in the 200IM. The 400IM is really her “one shot”. She’s thereabouts for a place (prob heats) on the GBR 4X200 but they are not a major medal factor and she’s essentially a 1.58 swimmer at best which isn’t likely to get you into semis at the “majors”. She’s gone 2.25 over 200BRS which is good but isn’t likely to get you into the final at Worlds or Olympics.

Counter that against:

Belmonte – Olympic medallist in distance FS & fly, Euro champion in both
Coventry – Olympic champion in back
Hosszu- World medallist in fly, Euro champ in back & fly
Beisel – World medallist in back

Perhaps her’s is a case of overall competence and endurance running up against those with trump cards in key legs ? Could be way off …. just putting forward a case

Craig Lord

Commonwombat, I see the point you make about options but the end result so far has been the same for others with many options, Katinka Hosszu and Sarah Sjostrom, for example, both still waiting to make the Olympic podium (and Ye, of course, would also be among those not considered as a challenger for victory in events beyond medley). They all have impressive lists (Hannah’s below). All any of them can do is work on and exploit their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses. Hannah’s freestyle finish, for example, is getting better, last year’s 4:06 pb in the 400m free down from 4:09 part of the background noise to her continuous work on the parts of the sum that has contributed to this:

World Championships – Long Course
Silver 2011 Shanghai 400 m medley
Bronze 2009 Rome 4×200 m freestyle
World Championships – Short Course
Gold 2012 Istanbul 400 m medley
Silver 2008 Manchester 400 m medley
Bronze 2008 Manchester 200 m medley
Bronze 2012 Istanbul 200 m medley
Bronze 2014 Doha 400 m medley
European Championships (LC)
Gold 2010 Budapest 400 m medley
Bronze 2010 Budapest 200 m medley
Bronze 2010 Budapest 4×200 m freestyle
European Championships (SC)
Gold 2009 Istanbul 400 m medley
Gold 2012 Chartres 400 m medley
Silver 2011 Szczecin 400 m medley
Silver 2012 Chartres 800 m freestyle
Silver 2012 Chartres 200 m medley
Bronze 2009 Istanbul 200 m medley
Bronze 2011 Szczecin 200 m medley
Commonwealth Games
Gold 2010 Delhi 400 m medley
Gold 2014 Glasgow 400 m medley
Bronze 2014 Glasgow 200 m medley
European Junior Championships (LC)
Silver 2005 Budapest 400 m medley
Competitor for Scotland


And yet, Craig failed to put Rice in the textile best list.

Rice swam a 4:33 in the 2012 olympics trials, just a few months after her shoulder surgery (and a 2:09 in 200 IM to boot).

Craig Lord

aswimfan… i didn’t ‘fail’ to put her in the list: her 4:33.45 is 10th best all-time in textile, my list ranks the top 6 – and they are all current swimmers vying for honour this summer and next.


Fair enough, Craig; respect your views. I don’t really stack Comm Games medals as the same stature as Euro or Pan Pac ones but that’s beside the point. Maybe she CAN step up to medal in Rio; my view on her is she’s one of those “almost but not quite there” performers but will give her all due credit if she proves me wrong. Fair point too re Sjostrom & Hosszu.


Hosszu is no longer a teenager, the time when recovery seems to come easiest. I wonder if going to the well once too often is starting to catch up with her a bit. She doesn’t seem as sharp as she did last summer, and I wonder if it’s time for her to back away from the racing a bit and refocus on the big meets that really matter.

Bad Anon

Hosszu’s best bets for olympic hardware will be 200/400im and 200fly. swimming more than 3 individual events is tough. even missy franklin failed to medal 100/200free in london

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