After winning four gold medals at the Fina World Short Course Championship in Doha earlier this month, Mireia Belmonte's next objective was to break the world record in the 1,500m freestyle. And the 24-year-old UCAM swimmer did just that at the Spanish Championships on Friday, beating the mark previously held by New Zealand's Lauren Boyle to post a new world record of 15:19.71.
Belmonte, who this week won the AS Sports Prize for the second year running, entered the pool with that target in mind and from 800m onwards was swimming under the European record split and very close to the world mark. Swimming at the home of her former club in Sabadell, Belmonte was roared on by the crowd and her coach Fred Vergnoux. When she reached 1,200m the record was in sight but Belmonte delighted the crowd by shaving three seconds off Boyle's time.
The world record became the fifth to be currently held by Belmonte in short course pools; she broke the 200m butterfly and 400m medley in Doha, to add to her marks in the 400m and 800m freestyle.