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-          Belmonte Garcia thrills in 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley
-          Le Clos surprises in 200m freestyle victory

Doha – 3rd December, 2014: Swimming’s showpiece event, the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships, got underway in fierce style today as the first of five days of thrilling action kicked off in the capital.

In one of the most anticipated rivalries of the meet, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia came out on top when it mattered, in the most important short course swimming meet worldwide.

Delighting a capacity and lively Doha crowd at the Hamad Aquatic Centre, the Spaniard contested a tight race against the Iron Lady and fastest qualifier, Katinka Hosszu, in the 200m butterfly where Hosszu led the field inside World Record pace until the last 50m. Belmonte Garcia powered to the wall to take the finish and set a new sub-two-minute World Record of 1:59.61.

Later, Belmonte Garcia reigned supreme once again to take gold and another World Record (4:19.86) in the 400m Individual Medley, smashing Hosszu’s Championship Record set in the morning heats.

She said: “It was a dream for me. I didn’t expect to break two world records today. The last month has been very important preparation for me, I trained well and thanks to my coach, the time was right. It’s only 18 months to go until Rio [Olympic Games] and today was motivation for me to train better and try to medal in Rio.”

In the men’s side of the competition, FINA Swimmer of the Year Chad Le Clos sent a message to the world when he became World Champion in the men’s 200m freestyle, an event not typically associated with the South African, in a true show of short-course dominance.

“This is one of the most competitive races and I showed the world I can compete. I’m very happy to beat the world’s best, this is one of the best medals I’ve ever won. I’ve always wanted to win it as I’ve never swum it in any of the World Cups.

“I’m very happy to get the win, it’s one up for the team and for my confidence. The 200m free is not my strongest event so hopefully touch wood it can only get better from here.”

Earlier in the day, Le Clos had already laid down his plans for World Record glory.

“The butterfly events are my main focus for this meet, I want to break the world record in all three fly events.”

Crowds jumped to their feet with excitements as these World Records were set.

Great Britain’s Adam Peaty set a Championship Record (56.43) and a new British Record to qualify for tomorrow’s 100m breaststroke final where he hopes to achieve a dream year-end.

“The dream end to this year for me would be a 55 and a gold medal. I’m proud that I’m doing a good job for my country and not letting them down.”

The 12th FINA World Swimming Championships – Doha takes place December 3rd – 7th at Hamad Aquatic Centre.

Find out more at and follow us @FINA2014Doha on Twitter.

Belmonte Garcia celebrates World Record win   Chad le Clos 200m freestyle win
Belmonte-Garcia Celecbrate a World Record Win   Chad Le Clos takes the 200m freestyle win

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