Photo: Erika Villaecija
Spanish swimmer Erika Villaecija, who will compete in the 800-meter freestyle at the Olympic Games and the 10 kilometers in open waters, says her intuition tells her that “all will go well” in London, both individually and as part of a team that “aspires to greatness.”
“I’m calm. Athens were good Games for me. Those in Beijing, on the other hand, were bad. But without knowing why, the calm I feel now gives me the feeling that in London all will go well,” the swimmer said in an interview with Efe.
Together with teammate Mireia Belmonte, against whom she will compete in the 800-meter freestyle, Villaecija goes as one of the leaders of a “solid” Spanish swimming team that can “aspire to greatness.”
“As for me, at least I know that this year I’ve done all I could, I’ve trained well to get results. We’ll see what happens now,” the 27-year-old Barcelona native said, adding that she considers it “positive” being one of the favorites in her third Olympics.
“I’m calm but enthusiastic because the season has gone well, my latest training sessions have gone well and I know I’ll get to London in really good shape,” Erika said. “I’ve improved on the gymnasium part and my rhythm and that has done a lot to improve my speed.”
“I decided it was better to compete in both races, because two chances are better than one,” Villaecija said. “In the 800 meters, the first step will be getting to the end swimming as fast as possible. I always train to win a medal.”
In the 800 meters she will face off against one of the top Spanish swimmers, Belmonte. “I hope there will be the two of us because that will make us swim better. In the 10 kilometers I’ll try to lead all that way and be in a good position for the sprint.”
Finally, the only Spanish athlete to compete in two different disciplines predicted that, in her opinion, the big swimming surprises at these Olympics will be “Aschwin Wildeboer, I’m sure of it, more than anything because I see him very focused. And Marina Garcia. Marina is going to surprise us more than once.”