At the World Swimming Championships, currently taking place in Doha, Spanish swimmer Hugo González made an impressive stride forward with the third-best mark in the 100 meters backstroke division. His performance, clocking in at 53.61, not only secured him a spot in the semifinals but also helped him reach the Olympic minimum, thereby solidifying his place in the upcoming Olympics. Additionally, Carmen Weiler, following in González’s wake, also cinched a position in the 100 backstroke semifinal after securing the seventh place in the heats.
González, a native of Mallorca, had already secured his place in the Paris 2024 Olympics in the 200 medley and 200 backstroke events at the Fukuoka 2023 World Championships. His participation in the Qatari competition has kicked off with a strong start, as he delivered an outstanding performance in the 100 backstroke. He is set to compete in all three backstroke events as well as the 200 medley.
In the fourth heat of the competition, González emerged victorious, setting the third-best time in the qualifying rounds. He surpassed the Olympic minimum time of 53.74, standing only behind South African swimmer Pieter Coetze (53.32) and Greek competitor Evangelos Makrygiannis (53.43).
The women’s 100 backstroke event saw Carmen Weiler also advancing to the semifinals. She concluded the heats with the seventh-best time (1:00.44) out of a total of 56 participants. The event was dominated by American swimmer Claire Curzan, who clocked in at 59.72. The Valencian swimmer, Weiler, was fifth in the fourth series and was less than five tenths away from the Olympic minimum time of 59.99. She is expected to strive to achieve this time in the upcoming semifinals this afternoon.
Meanwhile, fellow Spanish swimmer César Castro, who competed in the 4×100 free relay on Sunday, recorded a time of 1:47.40 in the 200 freestyle event. His time, unfortunately, left him in the seventeenth place, far from the minimum time of 1:46.2. The holder of the Spanish distance record—a 1:47.13 time he achieved in Budapest in 2021—could only make it into the ‘Top 16’ and secure a place in the semifinals due to a last-minute drop.
In the 100 breaststroke event, junior world medalist in Netanya 2023, Jimena Ruiz, finished in twenty-first place with a time of 1.08.74. Unfortunately, this did not suffice for her to continue in the competition.