By Sharon Robb
August 21, 2014—-Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Jordy Groters of Aruba, the future of international swimming, made history on Day Five of the 2014 IOC Youth Olympic Games Thursday night at the Olympic Sports Centre Natatorium in Nanjing, China.
Carter, a Plantation American Heritage alum and frequent trainer in South Florida, won his country’s first medals in swimming at the Games.
The country’s top junior swimmer took a silver medal in the 50-meter butterfly in 23.81, just behind China’s Yu Hexin in 23.69 and added a bronze medal in the 50-meter freestyle in 22.53.
After a great start, Carter led the freestyle until the final 20 meters when China’s Yu Hexin surged to win in a junior world record of 22.00. Brazil’s top junior sprinter Matheus de Santana was second in 22.43.
Carter had qualified with a 22.49 in semifinals and got out of the heats with a 24.01.
Missouri-bound Groters of Pine Crest Swimming swam back-to-back lifetime-bests and broke Aruba’s national record in the 50-meter breaststroke in the semifinals.
Groters first broke the national record in his heat in 29.03 and bettered it in the semifinal in 28.90, cracking the 29-second barrier for the first time in his career. He fell short of making it into the final and finished 11th overall.
Groters was happy with his Youth Olympics debut.
He wrote on his Facebook: “Youth Olympic semifinal was a great experience. I am very proud to have been able to represent my home Aruba at such a big stage. I swam another best time and Aruban national record (28.90) and it is the first time I go sub-29. Ended up in 11th place
and was .06 away from a spot in finals. Very satisfied with these results! Thank you everyone for your support.”
AquaKids Sharks’ Clara Smiddy tied for fourth in the 50-meter backstroke in 28.91. She tied Canadian Danielle Hanus. The top five finishers were just 55/100ths of a second apart. Smiddy was also fifth in her 50-meter freestyle heat in 26.42 and eighth in her semifinal in 26.39.
Jordan’s Lydia Musleh of Pine Crest Swimming was third in her 50-meter freestyle heat in 27.66.
Suriname’s Zuhayr Pigot of Doral Aquatics and Metro Aquatics was sixth in hi 100-meter freestyle heat in 52.70.
In other finals:
China’s women’s team won the 4×100-meter freestyle relay in 3:41.19.
Egypt won its first medal of the Games when Akram Ahmed won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:54.29.
Maaike de Waard of the Netherlands won the 50-meter backstroke in 28.36.
Host China continues to lead the medal count with 13 medals (8 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze) followed by Russia (6 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) and Italy (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze). Team USA is sixth with two gold medals and one bronze.
For swimming, prelims begin 10 p.m. and finals 6 a.m. East Coast time. The swimming competition ends on Friday.
The Youth Olympics are an international multi-sport event held in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee that takes place every four years consistent with the format of the Olympic Games.
The Youth Olympic Games are designed to integrate sport with education and culture, inspiring participants to live by the Olympic values and become ambassadors of the Olympic spirit. It also could provide a dress rehearsal for 2016 Rio Olympic hopefuls.
China is hosting 3,800 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees at the second Youth Olympics. During 13 days of competition in 32 sports, 222 medals events will be spread over 27 competition venues.
NBC, NBCSN and Universal Sports are combining for 54.5 hours of coverage through the Closing Ceremony on August 28.
NBC Sports Live Extra—NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets—will provide streaming coverage of all the Youth Olympic Games appearing on NBC and NBCSN.
For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at nbcsports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available for Apple, Android and Microsoft mobile devices and tablets.
Coverage of the 2014 U.S. Youth Olympic Team can be found at TeamUSA.org and Twitter.com/USOlympic utilizing the #2014YOG hashtag.
For more information on the Games, visit Nanjing2014.com.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org