One hundred years swimming to success

At an emotional gala held at the majestic Barcelona Maritime Museum, with more than 300 guests, the Catalan Swimming Federation (FCN) he celebrated his hundred years on Thursday night, a party in which just by writing the names who attended he already shows his greatness and his international weight, the cradle of the great successes of Spanish sport since forever. Mireia Belmonte, Gemma Mengual, Ona Carbonell or Manel Estiarte They have not only been great champions, but the best in their sports or specialties, and they have been trained in Badalona, ​​Barcelona and Manresa thanks first to the Catalan training system.

Nobody missed the date. On each table there was a story. A memory for the pioneers who are no longer with their black and white images and a passion for water led by Bernat Picornell, until the swimmers of the 60s, such as Miquel Torres, who achieved the first international medal in the Leipzig European Championship. All of them captained by coach Jan Freeser, a Dutchman who came to Spain and left a legacy in subsequent generations. Like the Santi Esteva, the first international swimmer, who went to train in the United States and a series of misfortunes deprived him of the Olympic medals in Munich 1972. Mari Paz Corominas, the first woman to compete in an Olympic final in Mexico 86, also wore her smile.

In the 80s, swimming was joined by water polo, which began to create the seed that would flourish since the 90s. Estiarte is the link between the two decades, accompanied at all times by Dani Ballart, Jordi Sans or Sergi Pedrerol, props of the first great Spanish National Team, gold in Atlanta 96 and world champions in 1998 and 2001. An unrepeatable team that has had continuity in the current National Team, European and world runner-up, with the goal Dani Lopez Pinedo, 41, also as a link between both generations.

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A water polo that the girls have joined since 2008. From Jennifer Pareja (absent due to her commitments with the Higher Sports Council) to Maica García, Anni Espar, Laura Ester or Marta Bach, accompanied by the recently retired Rosser Tarragó or by Bea Ortiz. An Olympic double silver team, European and world champion. Party that the Madrilenian did not miss Pili Peña, who has been competing in Catalonia for more than a decade, as did the Toto García, Jesús Rollán, Chava Gómez and Miki Oca.

Swimming continued to be successful. Before Mireia Belmonte, Sergi López, Aschwin Wildeboer and Erika Villaecija, even Jessica Vall who this afternoon at the Kazan European Championship will seek the medal in the 200 breaststroke. All of them were protagonists together with the incombustible synchro trained by Anna Tarrés who from 2003 to 2012 managed to be the second best world team, with Gemma Mengual, Ona Carbonell or Andreu Fuentes (absent when being in the United States) as banners and soloists. Some successes that are summarized in 11 Olympic medals. And a future ahead to remain optimistic.

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