There seems to be no stopping Mireia Belmonte Garcia…
The 24-year-old Spanish swimmer was unbeatable on the opening night of the world short-course championships, winning the women’s 200-meter butterfly and 400-meter individual medley in record times on Wednesday.
In both races, newly crowned female world swimmer of the year Katinka Hosszu of Hungary was forced to settle for second spot.
“I wasn’t expecting such a performance. It’s like a dream… unbelievable. I had an amazing race,” said the 24-year-old Garcia, who won two sliver medals in the 2012 London Games.
“I was nervous before the start but after the win in the first race, I got the motivation. In the last month, I had made very good preparations and thanks to my coach for helping me out. The wins ahead of [the] Rio Olympics (in 2016) are a huge motivation for me.”
In the 200 butterfly, Garcia finished in 1 minute, 59.61 seconds, eclipsing the record of 2:00.78 set by Zhige Liu of China in 2009.
Defending champion Hosszu led until the last 50 meters, and came second in 2:01.12. Franziska Hentke of Germany was third.
The script stayed very much the same in the 400 IM, with Hosszu leading for three quarters of the race. However, Garcia finished fast to touch home in 4:19.86 and break the previous record of 4:20.85 set by Hosszu in Berlin in 2013.
Hosszu, the World Cup series champion, finished well below her personal best in 4:22.94. Hannah Miley of Great Britain came third with a time of 4:24.74.