Junior swimmer Dylan Carter wrote his name into the history books when he won silver in the Men’s 50m butterfly yesterday at the 4th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Carter, the 17-year-old swimmer who shot to prominence in the USA last year when he broke that country’s national 15-16 200 yard freestyle mark, sped to 23.98 seconds in the one-lap dash, a race observed by his mother Tracey and his younger sister Mila in the stands at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex.
“It was an amazing experience,” he said yesterday. “The whole time before the race, I was just thinking that I really want to get gold, I really want to get gold, I really just want to get a medal. When I touched the wall, and saw the two (two) next to my name, it was everything that I could want from this meet and it really all happened in my last race.”
Carter said having a great mental attitude as well as positive energy were key factors in helping him achieve his silver medal.
“ I think that believing in yourself has so much to do with how you perform and just not let anything psyche you out. This I feel is key to being a great athlete.”
The multiple Carifta, CISC and CCCAN champion said he was “very, very tired after five days of competition, giving 100 per cent each day. You can even see it in the time I swam. The time I did in the preliminary would have won the event tonight. I went about 0.1 of a second slower and I think that is from the meet wearing on me.”
Carter said the wisdon of the pre-Worlds camp in Kuwait , organised by his personal coach, Brazil-born Alex Pussieldi, bore fruit.
“Thanks to the T&T public for all your support, it meant so much to me. I would be anxious to see the well wishes on my phone after each session. I would not have achieved this without the support of my family, my mom is with me and my little sister, my dad is at home in Trinidad and my other siblings.”
Hundreds of people in the swimming community were tuned into the live stream on the internet to witness Carter’s historic performance.
Carter’s father Everard was at work with his daughter Danielle watching the live stream of the race and had given in to the idea that his son may not have won a medal at this Championships.
“Before the start of the race, I had kind of given up at this point on a medal because he (Dylan) had gotten into so many finals and after so many swims of heats and finals you know, I just thought “Dylan, yuh did good enough” But I saw the start and he got a really fast start and I walked out the office ‘cause I could not watch the race. Then my daughter appeared a short while after and said he won the silver.
“I just jumped up for joy because I was really happy for him , really elated and proud of him,” Everard said, adding that his sacrifice of giving up his July/August holidays to train hard had worked out.
In Dubai, Pussieldi, Carter’s mom and sister and the rest of the T&T contingent were screaming their lungs out as Carter stroked to the finish line from lane two. In the end, he came up two hundredths of a second short of the gold, that honour going to Australia’s Cameron Jones (23.96). Japan’s Takaya Yasue placed third in 24.01.
The Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ASATT) PRO Denise Constantine sent “heartfelt congratulations” to Carter on his World Juniors silver feat .
“Carter has been rewarded for his diligence and discipline and continues to blossom under the guidance of his parents and coaches as all in the fraternity continue to lend unwavering support,” Constantine said.
It was a case of the third time being the charm after Carter failed to medal in the Men’s 50m and 100m backstroke when his form suggested he would get precious metal.
Carter also bypassed the 100m free semis which he did in a national record time of 49.93 to concentrate on the 50m fly final.
Other T&T swimmers competing yesterday included Joshua Romany who swam a personal best 50.83 for the Men’s 100m freestyle but did not advance to the finals 100m freestyle, finishing 13th overall; Tyler Martin 29th in the Women’s 100m fly (1:04.08); Kristin Julien in a personal best of 27.28 for 33rd in the Women’s 50m free; and Jonathan Ramkissoon, 38th in the Men’s 50m breaststroke (29.98).