Anna Harrington / AAP News
Wheelchair racer Sam Carter’s call to switch from sprinting to the 1500m for the Commonwealth Games has paid off with a surprise bronze medal in Birmingham.
Carter pulled off an intelligent race to finish third in 3:12.82 at Alexander Stadium, behind England’s Nathan Maguire and Daniel Sidbury.
“It was a terrific group of athletes for me to race against and I just got a really good run and everything went to plan,” Carter told reporters.
“My first major championship medal, so a really incredible milestone for me.
“I’m feeling really motivated and onward and upward from here.”
Carter competed in the T54 100m and 400m at the Rio and Tokyo Paralympics but turned his hand to the 1500m to earn his first Commonwealth Games selection.
“There’s two events in my classification here at the Commonwealth Games: the 1500m and the marathon,” Carter said.
“I don’t think I’m quite up to the marathon just yet, being a 100m and 400m guy normally.
“But I thought my fitness is decent, and I could give the 1500m a shot.
“We don’t have a world championships this year, so I thought I might as well see if I could get on the team and ended up really enjoying the middle-distance work, I just seemed fairly well suited to it.
“I’ve been really loving the training and been falling in love with track all over again.”
Carter admitted the bronze, claimed a day before his 31st birthday, had him contemplating turning his 1500m appearance from a cameo into a more-regular occurrence.
“Honestly, I’m going to have to have a real solid think about what races I’m going to be doing from here on out, because I’ve really enjoyed the 1500m,” Carter said.
“So it could be could well be a mix of sprints and middle-distance stuff and potentially even longer from here on out.”
Fellow Australian Jake Lappin finished fourth.