WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
May 29, 2013
Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club will compete against a world-class field at the Santa Clara Grand Prix which gets under way Thursday at the George F. Haines International Swim Center.
The three-time Jamaican Olympian, fine tuning for this summer’s world championships in July, has an ambitious race schedule with six events over three days.
Atkinson, 24, will compete against several other Olympians and national record holders who are also training for the July 28-August 4 FINA 15th annual World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
Atkinson’s first three races are Friday. She will compete in the 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter breaststroke and 100-meter freestyle. She is seeded 71st in the freestyle, 11th in the breaststroke and 29th in the butterfly.
On Saturday she swims the 50-meter freestyle which she is seeded 28th and on Sunday she competes in her marquis event, the 100-meter breaststroke, where she is seeded second behind Hardy, and 200-meter individual medley in which she is seeded 13th.
Several U.S. swimmers gearing up for the June 25-29 National Championships and World Trials in Indianapolis including Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte, Dana Vollmer, Nathan Adrian, Anthony Ervin, Natalie Coughlin, Allison Schmitt, Cullen Jones and Tyler Clary.
Joining Atkinson among the international field will be Olympic gold medalist and sprint freestyle world record holder Cesar Cielo of Brazil and Emily Seebohm of Australia.
A field of more than 500 swimmers will begin swimming on Thursday. The women’s 1500-meter freestyle and men’s 800-meter freestyle are the first events. Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m. Pacific Coast Time.
The event is the sixth and final stop on USA Swimming’s 2012-13 Arena Grand Prix Series that awards prize money to top finishers.
Friday and Saturday’s finals will air live on Universal Sports Network, 8-9:30 p.m. EST and live webcast of the entire meet will be streamed live online at usaswimming.org.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org