Day 2 of the 2020 Pura Loulé meet in Portugal was again without Olympic gold medalist Mireia Belmonte, despite the versatile 29-year-old having appeared on the start lists.
With the Spaniard star’s absence in the women’s 400m free event, it was countrymate Paula Juste Sanchez who got the job done for gold. Clocking a time of 4:13.46, the 17-year-old held on to beat Viviane Jungblut, who also got under 4:15 in a silver medal-worthy time of 4:14.98.
For Sanchez, her performance here is on par with her breakout swimming from last short course season. At the Spanish Short Course Championships in November, the then-16-year-old twice broke the National Age Record in the 200m IM (2:10.49) while also producing a new age mark in the 400m IM (4:36.38).
She competed in this 400m free event at the 2019 World Junior Championships where she placed 5th with a final time there in Budapest of 4:10.72, her lifetime best.
National record holder Jessica Vall, also of Spain, doubled up on her 200m breast victory from last night with a win this evening in the 100m sprint here in Portugal.
Splitting 31.85/35.46, Vall logged a winning effort of 1:07.31 to easily beat the field. Vall owns the national record with the 1:06.44 she produced in 2017. In Gwangju at the 2019 FINA World Aquatic Championships, Vall settled for 14th place in a semi-final time of 1:07.46.
Lidon Munoz produced the only sub-26 second time in the women’s 50m freestyle, finishing in 25.70 for the gold. She owns Spain’s fastest time ever with the 24.82 she posted at last year’s Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, Italy.
The men’s 50m free was won by Brazil’s Pedro Spajari, with the 23-year-old hitting a time of 22.53. That came in .30 ahead of Portgual’s Miguel Duarte Nascimento, who snagged silver in 22.83. There was a 2-way tie for bronze between Brazil’s Marcelo Chierghini and Juan Segura Gutierrez of Spain, with both registering 23.04.
Spajari has been on several international medal-winning relay squads for Brazil, including the swimming 400 free relay at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, as well as the same event at the 2019 Pan American Games. He took the individual silver medal in this 50m free event at the 2019 World Military Games, posting a time of 22.53 in Wuhan, China.
Spain’s World Junior Record holder and reigning World Junior champion in the women’s 400m IM, Alba Vazquez Ruiz, collected gold her in specialty event. She stopped the clock in at time of 4:46.86 to top the podium, with her time her representing the 10th fastest time of her career.
Last year in Budapest, Ruiz made her statement with a winning time of 4:38.53 to take the world junior title and fire off a new WJR in the event.