Jamaican Olympian and record-breaking swim star Alia Atkinson added a fifth gold medal to her list of achievements, taking first place in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2018 FINA World Cup Series Atkinson swam the distance in 1 minute and 03.09 seconds at the event in Tokyo, Japan, On November 10, 2018. She defeated rival Yulia Efimova of Russia, who came in second with a time of 1 minute, 03.42 seconds. Siobhan O’Connor of Great Britain was third with 1 minute, 05.07 seconds. Atkinson is the Jamaican Sportswoman of the Year for 2018.
Atkinson Competed in the 2004 Olympics in the 50-meter and 100-meter breaststroke events. In the 2008 Olympics, she finished in 25th place in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke. Atkinson carried the flag for Jamaica during the opening ceremony of the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and set the Jamaican record for the 100-meter butterfly at that event and at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. She competed at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 as well. At the 2010 NCAA Championships, she competed for Texas A&M in the 200-yard breaststroke. In 2012, Atkinson qualified for the Olympics in the 100-meter women’s breaststroke after defeating Canada’s Tera van Beilen in a race for the final position. She placed fourth in the finals of the 100-meter women’s breaststroke at the 2012 Games with a time of 1:06.93.
In 2014, at the Short Course World Championships in Doha, Atkinson became the first black woman to win a world swimming title. Also in 2014, she won two medals at the Commonwealth Games: silver in the 50-meter breaststroke an bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke. Atkinson established two Commonwealth Games records In the qualifying heats and semi-finals of the 50-meter breaststroke. She reached the final in the 100-meter breaststroke event at the 2016 Summer Olympics.