By Sharon Robb
November 1, 2014—Alia Atkinson won another gold medal and just missed a world record on the opening night of the final stop of the FINA/MASTBANK World Cup Series Saturday in Singapore.
Atkinson, 25, a three-time Jamaican Olympian and South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer, won her sixth 100-meter breaststroke title in a lifetime-best 1:02.54, just .18 off the world short course record, missing out on a $10,000 bonus check.
Atkinson did break her own Jamaican national record she set this past week in Tokyo.
It was the second time Atkinson finished ahead of world record holder Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania, who was second in 1:03.05. American Katie Meili was third in 1:05.47.
Atkinson also finished third in the 200-meter individual medley in a season-best 2:08.17 behind Hungarian Katinka Hosszu in 2:06.01 and Brit Siobhan-Marie O’Connor in 2:07.69.
“Tonight was about executing a plan to get faster each leg, mission accomplished,” SOFLO coach Chris Anderson said.
“When she is totally rested for worlds, she will be ready to break the 1:02 barrier,” Anderson said.
In other final events:
Women’s 800-meter freestyle: Spain’s world record holder Mireia Belmonte won her fifth race in the series event in 8:10.61. Hosszu was second in 8:11.26. American Elizabeth Beisel was fourth in 8:20.63.
Men’s 200-meter individual medley: Daiya Seto of Japan won his third straight title in the event in 4:04.07.
Men’s 100-meter freestyle: Against a weak field, Russian Sergei Fesikov won in 47.02.
Women’s 200-meter freestyle: Katinka Hosszu won her first event of the night in 1:53.63. It was her first event sweep of the 2014 World Cup and first career sweep of the 200 freestyle.
Men’s 50-meter breaststroke: Roland Schoeman of South Africa won his fifth sprint race in 25.86, fastest time in the world this year. Bolles alum George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago took third in 26.81.
Women’s 100-meter butterfly: Inge Dekker of the Netherlands won in 56.08, her sixth victory in the event. Hosszu was second in 56.33.
Men’s 100-meter backstroke: American Eugene Godsoe won his second consecutive 100 backstroke title in 50.59.
Women’s 50-meter backstroke: American Felicia Lee won her first World Cup race in 26.48, second fastest time by an American in history.
Men’s 200-meter butterfly: Chad le Clos of South Africa won in 1:48.88 just missing his own world record by .32.
Women’s 200-meter individual medley: Hosszu won her second race in 2:06.01 all but clinching the series. It was her 16th straight World Cup win in the event.
Men’s 400-meter freestyle: Aussie David McKeon won his first event of the series in 3:38.54.
Women’s 50-meter freestyle: Brit Fran Halsall won in 23.80.
Men’s 200-meter breaststroke: Hungarian Daniel Gyurta easily won in 2:02.30 against a less than stellar field. Gyurta won by more than three seconds.
Men’s 100-meter individual medley: Former world record holder Sergei Fesikov won in 52.09.
Women’s 200-meter backstroke: Hosszu took her third and final event of the night in 2:03.07. Six of the eight finalists were Team USA swimmers. Elizabeth Beisel took the bronze in 2:05.00.
Men’s 50-meter butterfly: Chad le Clos of South Africa won in 21.98 and just missed another world record.
Mixed 200-meter medley relay: Russia won in 1:43.26. The U.S. junior relay was second in 1:46.03 and Singapore was third in 1:46.17.
The World Cup Series ends on Sunday. Atkinson will swim the 50 and 200 breaststroke.
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 email@example.com