By Sharon Robb
October 29, 2014—A day after upsetting world record holder Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania and nearly breaking a world short course record, Alia Atkinson had to settle for two silver medals on the final day of the FINA/MASTBANK World Cup Series Wednesday at the Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Centre.
Meilutyte came back to beat Atkinson in the 50-meter breaststroke, 29.36-29.66, second fastest time in the world behind Atkinson (29.12 in Dubai).
Atkinson also finished behind Hungarian Katinka Hosszu in the 100-meter individual medley, 57.74-59.47.
“She had a solid swim in the breaststroke,” said SOFLO coach Chris Anderson, who is coaching her in Japan.
“She had a very unlucky breaststroke start and could not recover from the bad start but had a nice recovery during the second 25. She had a very nice 100 IM and will work more underwaters next start.”
Atkinson, 25, a three-time Jamaican Olympian and South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer leaves Tokyo with one gold medal and two silver medals and $3,500 in prize money for the second consecutive meet.
Atkinson was coming off a two gold, one bronze medal and $3,500 performance on the opening leg in Beijing.
Atkinson remains fourth on the women’s money list with $50,000 behind series leader Hosszu ($228,000), Dutch swimmer Inge Dekker ($103,500) and Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia ($79,500).
Series leader Chad le Clos of South Africa leads the men’s money prize list with $136,000 after winning $4,500 in Tokyo. American Tom Shields is second ($78,250) and Hungarian Daniel Gyurta is third ($75,500).
In other final events:
Men’s 1500-meter freestyle: Hungarian Gergely Gyurta led from wire-to-wire to win in 14:36.38.
Women’s 400-meter individual medley: Hosszu won her first event of the night and fourth event of the competition in 4:23.67. She won the race by nearly three seconds.
Women’s 100-meter freestyle: Brit Fran Halsall won in 51.96, third fastest in the world this year.
Men’s 200-meter freestyle: Japan’s Kosuke Hagino won in 1:42.62.
Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: Hungarian Daniel Gyurta came from behind to win in 57.23, just 1/100th of a second ahead of Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki.
Men’s 100-meter butterfly: South African Chad le Clos won his first event of the night in 48.95.
Women’s 100-meter backstroke: Hosszu won her second race in 56.07.
Men’s 50-meter backstroke: Spain’s Miguel Ortiz out-touched American Eugene Godsoe, 23.30-23.36. to win.
Women’s 200-meter butterfly: Hosszu outlasted Belmonte to win by 69/100ths of a second in 2:03.14.
Men’s 200-meter individual medley: Japan’s Kousuke Hagino won her second race of the night in 1:51.27, breaking his own national and World Cup record.
Women’s 400-meter freestyle: Belmonte won the distance event in 4:00.87 just ahead of Japan’s Chihiro Igarashi in 4:00.89.
Men’s 50-meter freestyle: Japan’s Shinri Shioura out-touched Bolles alum George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago, 21.42-21.43.
Women’s 200-meter breaststroke: Rie Kanetou of Japan won in 2:19.18, fastest time in the world this year.
Women’s 100-meter individual medley: Hosszu won her sixth and final gold medal in 57.74.
Men’s 200-meter backstroke: Aussie Mitch Larkin and Japan’s Yuuki Shirai tied for the gold medal in 1:49.95. Shirai reeled Larkin with 50 meters to go.
Women’s 50-meter butterfly: Dekker outsprinter Halsall to win in 25.18.
Mixed 4×50-meter freestyle relay: Japan clubs swept the top three medal spots. Mikihouse won in 1:33.28.
The competition now moves to Singapore for the World Cup Series’ final stop on Nov. 1-2.
Swimmers are racing for $1,500 for first, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. There is also a $10,000 bonus offered for a world record performance swim. A prize purse of $300,000 in prize money will be awarded to the sixth highest ranked men and women swimmers.
After the Singapore leg, the men’s and women’s World Cup winners will earn $100,000, second place $50,000 and third place $30,000.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org