T&T swimmer Dylan Carter swam to his first gold medal and the second piece of silverware in two days when he won the men’s 50m backstroke A-final on the final day of the third leg of the Mare Nostrum Tour at the Pere Serrat Pool, Barcelona, Spain on Sunday.
A winner of a silver medal in the men’s 100m backstroke A-final on Saturday, USA-based Carter of USC Aquatics lived up to his pre-race favourite tag after topping the morning heats by going even faster in the A-final as he continued his preparations towards the Tokyo Olympics next month.
A University of Southern California Trojan graduate, Carter posted a sizzling time of 25.51 seconds for his first gold medal of the season.
A distant second was Spain’s Nicolas Garcia Saiz in 26.11, just ahead of Mexican Diego Camacho Salgado’s 26.12 while Manuel Martos Bacarizo was fourth in 26.17, and Carter’s club-mate Chase Bloch, fifth in 26.27.
The trio of Alejandro Calderon Iglesias (26.37), Adrian Santos Martin (26.43), and Alejandro Rueda Narvaez (27.40) were the other finishers in the A-Final.
In the morning heats, Carter was the fastest qualifier in 25.90, a finger-tip ahead of Bacarizo (26.00) while Iglesias was third in 26.14 followed by Salgado (26.18), and Saiz (26.20).
The T&T swimmer also contested the 100m freestyle A-final as a scratch replacement for Hugo Gonzalez and ended in the seventh spot in 50.10 seconds, only ahead of Daniel Zaitsev who clocked 50.27.
Hungarian Kristof Milak won gold in 48.86 to beat Sergio De Celis (49.08) and Cristian Quintero (49.15) into the second and third spot respectively.
Holland’s Jesse Puts was fourth in 49.41 followed by Brazilian ace Bruno Fratus (49.47), and Italian, Luca Dotto who touched in 49.89.
When the heats took place in the morning, Quintero clocked the fastest time of 49.05 with Milak (49.26) and De Celis (49.30), Puts (49.49) and Zaitsev (49.57) the top five qualifiers.
Dotto was sixth fastest in 49.84, just ahead of Gonzalez (49.91), Fratus (50.07) and Carter, who was ninth-best in 50.13.
On Saturday, competing in the eight-man final at the Trofeu International Ciutat de Barcelona, the 42nd edition at CN Sant Andreu, Rambla Fabra I Puig, the 26-year-old Carter raced to the wall in the 100m backstroke A-final in 55.27 seconds to finish behind Gonzalez, who took gold in a new Mare Nostrum meet record of 53.08, the same time established by Japan’s Ryosuke Irie in Monaco 11 years ago.
Third place was taken by Colombian Omar Pinzon in 55.47 while the pair of Mexico’s Diego Camacho Salgado (55.70), and Manuel Martos Bacarizo (55.78) were fourth and fifth place finishers respectively.
Earlier in the morning session heats, Carter, a Commonwealth Games medallist, the first for T&T in swimming won the second of the three heats in 56.14, just ahead of Salgado who clocked 56.23 to be the third and fourth fastest qualifiers overall.
Saiz was the fastest qualifier in 55.67 ahead of Pinzon who touched the wall in 55.72 while Bacarizo (56.43), Iglesias (56.84), Gonzalez (56.99) and Martin (57.15) occupied positions fifth to eighth.
Last week Carter had to settle for the sixth spot in the men’s 100 metres freestyle A-final in 49.76 on the second and final day of the second stop of the 2021 Mare Nostrum Long Course Meet at the Centre de Natation Arlette Franco, Canet-en-Roussillon, France.
Host swimmer Maxime Grousset was a comfortable winner in 48.57, well clear of Quintero who was second in 49.41, and Sergio de Celis, who took bronze in 49.52.
In the morning heats, Carter ended in the third spot in heat of three of five to qualify for the final as the seventh fastest overall.
On Tuesday, Carter placed fourth in the men’s 100m butterfly A-final in 53.43 seconds to finish behind South African Chad Le Clos’ 52.29, Mehdy Metella’s 52.64 and Nikola Miljenic’s 53.22.
In the morning heats, Le Clos was third in the 100 butterfly in 53.72 behind Mettela (52.88) and Carter (53.03).
On Saturday last, at the opening Mare Nostrum Swim Meet at the Prince Albert II Swimming Pool in Monaco, Carter raced to the wall in the 100m freestyle A-final in 49.98 for the third spot behind French duo Grousset (48.28) and Charles Rihoux (49.44) while another Frenchman, Clement Mignon was fourth in 50.07.
In the heats, Carter was fourth fastest in 49.79 to trail Grousset (49.04), Mignon (49.29), and Richoux (49.36).
However, on Sunday, in the 100m butterfly Carter ended in the tenth position in 54.87.