Spanish swimmer Fernando Alvarez's stirring solo tribute for Barcelona


Spanish swimmer Fernando Alvarez's stirring solo tribute for Barcelona

As the buzzer signalled the start of the 200 metre breaststroke final in the World Masters Swimming Champs in Budapest, one competitor stood still as others raced away.

14 people were killed and 130 injured on Thursday when a driver deliberately slammed a van into crowds on Barcelona's most popular street, Las Ramblas.

Participating in the FINA World Masters Championships in Budapest, the swimmer gave up his chance of glory and chose to pay tribute to the victims of Barcelona and Cambrils terror attacks. Speaking to Spanish publication El Espanol, the member of Cadiz Swimming Club said he had sent an email to the president of the competition but received no response.

So instead, Alvarez took the minute during the race. So Alvarez chose to stand on the starting blocks and joined the race only after 60 seconds. "But because of the distance and because I have family there, the truth is I believe that [tribute] would have been a great detail". "I really think it would have been a good detail", he said.

Fernando Alvarez, who was competing in the FINA World Masters Championships, told local media: "I started a minute late, but that doesn't matter".

"I do not care, I felt better than if I won all the gold in the world", he said.

Alvarez did eventually dive into the pool but was given no time in when the official results were announced.