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Rio Olympics: Mireia Belmonte hails Rafael Nadal as role model

Rio Olympics - Swimming - Victory Ceremony - Women's 200m Butterfly Victory Ceremony - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 10/08/2016. Mireia Belmonte (ESP) of Spain poses with her gold medal.

Mireia Belmonte has described Rafael Nadal as her role model after both won gold at Rio 2016.

Spaniard Belmonte added to her two silver medals from London 2012 by taking gold in 200m butterfly as well as bronze in the 400m individual medley.

Her compatriot Nadal triumphed in men’s doubles, the 14-time grand slam champion claiming gold alongside Marc Lopez, although he suffered defeat at the hands of Kei Nishikori in the bronze medal match of the men’s singles.

Belmonte, speaking courtesy of Speedo, told Omnisport: “Nadal and myself congratulated each other when we won our medals. He has been a reference within the Spanish sport.

“He is a fighter. For us it has been very important to be that close to him, as he speaks with everyone. For me he is a very good person and he is my role model.”

Asked about her emotions following her success in the pool in Rio, Belmonte added: “The feelings are indescribable. There are plenty of things that come to your mind in this very second.

“It’s like living a dream, but very fast. Everything comes very fast. Two minutes before you weren’t an Olympic medallist and two minutes after suddenly you are, so to assimilate it is difficult.”


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Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field