By Sharon Robb
August 31, 2014—Three-time Olympian Alia Atkinson won her third gold medal in less than a week at the FINA/Mastbank World Cup Sunday at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai.
The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer from Jamaica won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.26 and pocketed $1,500.
Atkinson, the top-seed in the event, had no problem distancing herself from Americans Breeja Larson in 1:04.85 and Laura Sogar in 1:06.93.
Atkinson went out in 29.66 and slowed down in the back half in 33.60.
Atkinson was also sixth in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:11.54, an event Katinka Hosszu broke her own world record in.
“It wasn’t a bad swim tonight,” said her longtime SOFLO coach Chris Anderson. “It was a race to get in better shape. She has a big day tomorrow.”
Earlier this past week, Atkinson swept the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke events. On Monday, she has the 50-meter breaststroke, where she is seeded first and 100-meter individual medley, seeded second behind Katinka Hosszu, and 50-meter butterfly left to swim.
In the World Cup Series-opener in Doha, Atkinson won the 50- (29.12) and 100-meter breaststroke (1:03.79) events and pocketed $3,000 in prize money, $1,500 for each win. She also picked up bonus points for second best performance in the sprint breaststroke.
Atkinson is fourth on the prize money and points list with $4,500 and 54 points for the series opening cluster.
Bolles alum George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago won the 100-meter individual medley in 51.79 finishing ahead of Americans Tom Shields (52.14) and Cody Miller (52.46).
Another Bolles swimmer, Carolina Colorado of Colombia, took the bronze in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:06.96.
The Hungarians dominated opening night action on Sunday.
Series points leader Katinka Hosszu and Daniel Gyurta broke world short course records and each picked up $10,000 in bonus money for a world record.
Hosszu has now collected $58,500 in three days. Gyurta leads the men’s earnings list with 14,500.
Hosszu, who broke three world records in Doha, came back and broke her own 200-meter individual medley record in 2:02.13, lowering her previous mark of 2:02.61 she set earlier this past week. She improved her backstroke and freestyle legs for the new record. American Caitlin Leverenz was second in 2:06.76.
Hosszu also won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:52.25, 50-meter backstroke in a national record 26.10 and 200-meter backstroke in 2:01.17, another Hungarian national record.
Gyurta broke his own world record in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:00.48. His previous record was 2:00.67.
In other championship finals on Sunday:
Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:04.88, off her world record of 7:59.34. There were only four swimmers in the timed final heat.
Aussie Thomas Fraser-Holmes flirted with the world record in the 400-meter individual medley before falling off WR pace but winning the gold in a meet record 3:58.69. The old meet record was 3:58.84. Fraser-Holmes also won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:38.22 ahead of Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic in 3:38.32.
South African Chad le Clos won the 100-meter freestyle in 46.24 and won the 50-meter butterfly in 22.02.
Roland Schoeman, also of South Africa, won the 50-meter breaststroke in 26.16. American Cody Miller took the bronze in 26.38.
Inge Dekker of the Netherlands won the 100-meter butterfly in 56.03. She was the only swimmer under 57 seconds. Dekker also won the 50-meter freestyle in 23.95.
Germany’s Christian Diener won the 100-meter backstroke in 50.10 overtaking early leader and American Eugene Godsoe who took the silver in 50.14.
American Tom Shields won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:50.19, just 11/100ths of a second off his American record he set in Doha.
The meet has a field of 235 swimmers from 38 countries. The Dubai stop is the second and last of Cluster One of the FINA World Cup series.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com