Jamaica’s Olympian and swim sensation Alia Atkinson took first place gold in the 50-meter breaststroke competition on November 4 at the 2018 FINA World Cup in Beijing, China, adding another gold medal to her expanding collection. Atkinson, who holds the world record in this event, made a fast start, then easily pulled away from her competitors to win with a time of 29.16 seconds. This was just a half second over her own world record in the 50 meters, which she set in October 2018. Coming in second was Atkinson’s Russian rival Yulia Efimova with a time of 29.63. Emily Seebohm of Australia surprised onlookers by taking third place with a 30.35-second finish. Next up for Atkinson are the first two meets of the World Cup in Tokyo, Japan, on November 9 through 11, 2018, and in Singapore from November 15 to 17, 2018. Atkinson currently ranks seventh in the women’s standing, which is headed by Sarah Sjostrohm of Sweden.
Atkinson, 29, also broke her own Jamaican national record in the 100-meter butterfly after winning her gold medal in the 50 meters. She swam the distance in the 100-meter butterfly competition in 57.38 seconds, finishing fourth, but lowering the previous Jamaican record for the event of 57.56 seconds that she set on August 3, 2017. During her participation at the FINA World Cup in Beijing, Atkinson had her season-best times in the 100-meter individual medley with 58.29 seconds, placing fourth, and in the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2.24.35 seconds, coming in fifth. Atkinson did not compete in the 50-meter butterfly championship final after qualifying with a time of 26.50 seconds.
Information source: FINA, Davidi Photo