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Carlos Serrano Zarate COL takes the Gold Medal in a new World Record time in the Men's 100m Breaststroke.

Carlos Serrano Zarate

Swimming
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Despite only taking up Para swimming in 2013, Carlos Serrano emerged as the man to beat in the men’s S7 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

His debut season in 2015 saw him win World Championships gold in the 100m breaststroke SB7 in world record time.

Then, at the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games, he stormed to an impressive five gold medals all in Games record times and with a new Americas record in the 50m butterfly S7.

The performance placed him in the top five of the most decorated athletes and as Colombia’s most successful athlete, he was selected as the flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony.

A committed athlete, Serrano fits his training around his schooling as he believes that medals are won in training and you are “just picking them up at events.”

That could have been the mantra that drove him to win Colombia's first gold medal in 36 years at Rio 2016. He also added a world record to his gold in the 100m breaststroke, breaking the mark in the heats and finals on his way to the title.

His achievements have attracted the attention of the Colombian President as Serrano shot to national fame thanks to his performances in Brazil.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Short stature
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S7, SB7, SM7

Further personal information

Family
One daughter Sara-Luna
Residence
Bucaramanga, COL
Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
Spanish
Higher education
Physical Education - Technological Units Santander [UTS]: Bucaramanga, COL

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up the sport in early 2013 in Bucaramanga, Colombia.
Why this sport?
"I always liked the water but could not swim, so my mother put me on a [swimming] course. On the last day the coach Luis Carlos Calderon saw me with my short stature and invited me to swim with other athletes."
Club / Team
Colombia sin Limites: Bucaramanga, COL
Name of coach
Luis Carlos Calderon Fuentes [national, personal], COL, from 2013

International debut

Year
2015
Competing for
Colombia
Tournament
World Championships
Location
Glasgow, SCO

General interest

Nicknames
Daniel, Carlito (Instagram profile, 28 Jul 2019; Facebook profile, 15 Jul 2019; eltiempo.com, 06 Mar 2017)
Hobbies
Video games, dancing, extreme sports, paintball. (elespectador.com, 14 Dec 2019; Athlete, 10 Sep 2019)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning three medals at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Athlete, 10 Sep 2019)
Most influential person in career
His parents and coach Luis Carlos Calderon Fuentes. (Athlete, 10 Sep 2019)
Hero / Idol
Colombian Para swimmer Moises Fuentes. (Athlete, 10 Sep 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"You win medals in training. You're just picking them up at events." (Athlete, 02 Dec 2017)
Awards and honours
He was named Para Athlete of the Year by Colombian newspaper El Espectador in 2019, 2018 and 2016. (elespectador.com, 14 Dec 2019; Instagram profile, 04 Dec 2018; paralympic.org, 23 Dec 2016)

He was named Athlete of the Month for April 2016 by the International Paralympic Committee [IPC]. (paralympic.org, 11 May 2016)

He was named the 2015 Sportsperson of the Year by Colombian newspaper Vanguardia. (vanguardia.com, 29 Feb 2016)

He was flag bearer for Colombia at the closing ceremony of the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto, ON, Canada. (paralympic.org, 15 Aug 2015)
Ambitions
To win multiple gold medals at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (vanguardia.com, 01 Jun 2020; eltiempo.com, 06 Mar 2017)
Impairment
He was born with achondroplasia, a condition that affects bone growth. (Athlete, 02 Dec 2017; elcolombiano.com, 16 Aug 2015)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m Freestyle S7 Heat 2 2015-07-13 9999
Men's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Heat 1 2015-07-14 1
Men's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Final 1 2015-07-14 1
Men's 400 m Freestyle S7 Final 1 2015-07-15 5
Men's 400 m Freestyle S7 Heat 1 2015-07-15 5
Men's 200 m Individual Medley SM7 Heat 1 2015-07-16 8
Men's 200 m Individual Medley SM7 Final 1 2015-07-16 9999
Men's 50 m Freestyle S7 Heat 1 2015-07-19 7
Men's 50 m Freestyle S7 Final 1 2015-07-19 6
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 50 m Freestyle S7 Final Round 2016-09-09 3
Men's 50 m Freestyle S7 Heat 1 2016-09-09 2
Men's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Heat 2 2016-09-10 1
Men's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Final Round 2016-09-10 1
Men's 50 m Butterfly S7 Final Round 2016-09-12 4
Men's 50 m Butterfly S7 Heat 2 2016-09-12 2
Men's 200 m Individual Medley SM7 Heat 1 2016-09-13 1
Men's 200 m Individual Medley SM7 Final Round 2016-09-13 4
Men's 400 m Freestyle S7 Final Round 2016-09-14 4
Men's 400 m Freestyle S7 Heat 1 2016-09-14 3
Men's 100 m Freestyle S7 Heat 2 2016-09-16 1
Men's 100 m Freestyle S7 Final Round 2016-09-16 2
Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships (Mexico City, Mexico)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m Freestyle S7 Final 1 2017-12-02 1
Men's 400 m Freestyle S7 Final 1 2017-12-03 3
Men's 50 m Freestyle S7 Final 1 2017-12-04 1
Men's 50 m Butterfly S7 Final 1 2017-12-05 1
Men's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Final 1 2017-12-05 1
Men's 200 m Individual Medley SM7 Final 1 2017-12-07 1