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Belmonte during the Tokyo Games. EFE
Heartbreak as Spain's greatest ever swimmer misses out on Olympic qualification
Swimming

Heartbreak as Spain's greatest ever swimmer misses out on Olympic qualification

Mireia Belmonte, 33, won gold at Rio 2016 but has been struggling with a shoulder injury

Alberto Rubio

Madrid

Sunday, 23 June 2024, 18:05

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Mireia Belmonte, Spain's most accomplished swimmer, has failed to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Competing at the Spanish Open in Palma de Mallorca, the Badalona native failed to achieve the minimum time required in the 400-metre freestyle, falling short by 13 seconds with a time of 4:20.

Despite her efforts, Belmonte, who has struggled with shoulder injuries and limited competition time, was unable to secure a spot in what would have been her fifth consecutive Olympics.

At 33, Belmonte faces a challenging path to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. Her illustrious career so far includes four Olympic medals, including gold in the 200-metre butterfly at Rio 2016.

“Mentally, it’s not easy. Some days hurt more than others, but knowing the final goal keeps me motivated,” she said earlier this year.

In addition to Belmonte, 35-year-old Catalan Jessica Vall also missed out on Paris 2024, narrowly missing the qualifying time in the 200-metre breaststroke by two hundredths of a second.

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