Jamaican swim sensation Alia Atkinson, 30, has won her third consecutive world title in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke. With the win, Atkinson made history by becoming the first swimmer to win three consecutive World Championship gold medals in the event. A double world record holder, The swimmer tied the world record in the event twice, tying Ruta Meilutyte’s record at the World Championships in 2014 and tying it again at the World Cup in 2016.
Atkinson solidified her place in history after her victory in a close 100-meter breaststroke final, fending off Katie Meili of the United States at the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou China. Atkinson’s time was 1:03:51, just one-tenth of a second ahead of Meili. The two swimmers were far ahead of the rest of the competitors. The third-place bronze medal went to Jessica Hanson of Australia who swam the distance in 1:04.61. Atkinson had a great start, which allowed her to control the race, but Meili fought back at the end to challenge her lead.
Atkinson’s victory brings her medal total to three after her win in the women’s 50-meter breaststroke and a bronze in the women’s 100-meter individual medley. This was Atkinson’s sixth appearance at the World Championships, where she has won nine medals overall: four gold, three silver, two bronze. She has three gold medals in the 100-meter breaststroke, one gold and three silver medals in the 50-meter breaststroke, and two bronze medals in the 100-meter individual medley.
Atkinson was born in Jamaica on December 11, 1988, and competed in her first Olympics at the age of 16. She takes her role as a Jamaican swim champion very seriously, issuing a mission statement for her swimming career that states, “To place Jamaica on the world map of swimming; to agitate for the improvement of the infrastructural support for swimming in Jamaica so as to be able to take it to the next level; and to realize my full potential for myself, my parents, and my country.”
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