Alia Atkinson OD, Jamaican Olympic swim champion and world record holder, won a gold medal at the FINA Swimming Gold Cup competition in Jinan, China. She won the gold medal in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke final, defeating Vitalina Simonova of Russia and Jin Jow Yu of China. Atkinson swam the distance in 1 minute, 07.06 seconds. This was Atkinson’s second gold medal on the 2019 World Cup circuit. She also won gold in the 50-meter breaststroke event in Japan. Atkinson is a four-time Olympian and at 32 years of age is the reigning Sportswoman of the Year.
In addition to winning the two gold FINA Swimming World Cup medals, Atkinson qualified for the 2020 Olympics, her fifth, with the time recorded at the finals in China on August 9, 2019.
Atkinson was born in 1988 in St. Andrew, Jamaica. She first competed in the 2004 Olympics in the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter breaststroke. In 2008, she competed in the Olympics and finished 25th in the women’s 200-meter Brea stroke event. In 2007, she carried the Jamaican national flag in the opening ceremony of the Pan American Games and set the Jamaican record in the 100-meter butterfly at the event. She won the 200-yard breaststroke at the 2010 NCAA Championships, swimming for Texas A&M.
Atkinson won the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2014 Short Course World Championships in Doha and became the first black woman to win a world swimming title. She also won two medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, silver in the 50-meter breaststroke and bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke. She set two Commonwealth Games records in the heats and semifinal of the 50-meter breaststroke. Atkinson reached the final of the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2016 Summer Olympics. She is coached by Chris Anderson and trains chiefly in South Florida.
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