Top Team TTO swimmer Dylan Carter will splash into action once more when match number five of the second season of the International Swimming League (ISL) 2020 gets underway today at the Duna Arena in Budapest, Hungary.
Following the model of other sporting events during the Covid-19 pandemic, the ISL is being conducted in a bio-secure bubble with one solitary competition site being utilised over the six-week duration of the 2020 edition.
The League culminates with the grand finale from November 21-22.
The TTO swimmer - preparing for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next year - showed improvement in his second match - won by his Los Angeles Currents (LAC) team last week - over his performances in the opening match when they placed third two weeks ago.
The University of Southern California graduate dropped time in both his Men’s 50 metres freestyle (21.56 to 21.42 seconds) and the Men’s 100m backstroke (51.28 to 50.85).
“I was happy with the first match but I knew I was going to get better as we went along. And so said so done! I had another PB (personal best) in the 50m free,” Carter said. “(I am) still not happy about that time but hoping to continue to improve upon it. I think my best swim of last weekend was the 100 back which was very close to my PB.”
The 2019 Pan American Games bronze medallist tried a nose clip - used to prevent water from entering the nasal cavity - for the first time but it didn’t work out as it dislodged into his mouth after the mid-way turn. He plans to revert to, “the old school” and ditch the clip.
“And hopefully I’ll be a bit quicker.”
Carter also credited the improvement to being more rested and getting more accustomed to the course.
After a quick four-day turnaround, LAC are scheduled to face off today against London Roar, DC Trident, and rivals Tokyo Frog Kings who they bested for the top spot last week. And Carter is looking to continue that upward trend.
“I feel a lot better. I hadn’t raced since early February this year, so the first match I felt like I hadn’t done it (raced) in a long time and (I had) a lot of nerves and you don’t know what to expect when you haven’t raced in that long,” Carter said, “I am excited and I get more and more excited for each coming match and I feel better and better as we are going along. So I am hoping to continue to improve on the things I set out to improve on.”
The 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist said his focus has been on nailing the details of his racing - reaction time, starts, underwater kick-outs, break-outs, turns, finishes, etc.
“Once I get the details down, the times will come and that’s sort of where my head is going into this next match...and hopefully I can contribute again and a little bit more this weekend” he said, adding he was proud of his LAC squad for gaining the win in last week’s match and earning a crucial four points to assist them in qualifying for the semi-final playoff round.
Carter also repeated his appreciation for the opportunity to race after months outside a competition pool.
“Having a great time out here. It’s awesome to be with some of the greatest athletes in the world and to have this sort of training and racing environment. We are in a world class facility. There is not much else to think about as our needs are being catered to, so we could concentrate on just nailing down good performances.” He added that swimmers felt safe because they were being tested every five days for Covid-19.
“So I think the League has been really awesome so far, a great success and everybody is having a great time and swimming faster and faster every weekend,” he concluded.