FINA WORLD CUP – EINDHOVEN
We’ve been seeing World Records of the sprint variety go down as of late, but tonight Spain’s Mireia Belmonte cranked out a new mark in the women’s 400m IM. While competing on day 2 of the World Cup in Eindhoven (SCM), Belmonte scorched the field and blasted a new 400 IM WR of 4:18.94. That eclipses the previous record held by Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu of 4:19.46 set at the 2015 European Short Course Championships.
Belmonte and Hosszu have gone back and forth in owning this 400 IM WR, with the former’s mark of 4:19.86 serving as the time Hosszu surpassed with her 4:19.46 win in Netanya. The duo finished 1-2 in tonight’s race in Eindhoven, however, the race strategy played out very differently for the two elite athletes. At the conclusion of the backstroke leg, Belmonte sat over 2 seconds behind a field-leading Hosszu, with the Spaniard’s split registered at 2:06.46 compared to Hosszu’s clocking of 2:03.79 at the 200m mark.
Belmonte took things to another level during the breaststroke, however, making up that time difference and then some, coming out ahead by almost 3 seconds before holding on to the pole position through the freestyle leg. Behind Belmonte’s new WR of 4:18.94, Hosszu settled for 4:25.18, yet still claimed silver in the race. For Belmonte, her time tonight represents the first time a female swimmer has dipped under the 4:19 threshold in the short course 400 IM event.