SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Goes For Second Medal At XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships

By Sharon Robb

August 7, 2015—There-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson will attempt to win her second medal at the XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships at Kazan Arena in Russia.

Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club will swim the heats of the 50-meter breaststroke in the morning and if she qualifies, the semifinals at night. The final is Sunday. It is her final event of the championships.

Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of the Bahamas will go after her first medal on Saturday.
The national record holder and two-time Olympic swimmer from the Bahamas qualified for the medal final in the 50-meter butterfly Saturday night.

During the butterfly semifinals, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom broke the meet record in 25.06 and Egypt’s Farida Osman broke an African national record in 25.88 to qualify sixth.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s U.S. Olympic gold medalist Claire Donahue just missed the 50-meter butterfly semifinals, finishing 17th in 26.52. Atkinson was 31st in 27.01 and SOFLO teammate Carolina Colorado of Colombia was 37th in 27.58.

In one of the highlights of the meet, Alzain Tareq of Bahrain competed in the 50-meter butterfly at age 10. She is the youngest swimmer to compete in world championship history. Unlike other sports like gymnastics, there is no age limit at the FINA World Championships although the World Junior Swimming Championships do not allow girls under 14 to compete. She finished last among 64 swimmers in 41.13.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu broke the 24-year-old Hungarian national record of Krisztina Egerszegi in the 200-meter backstroke semifinals in 2:06.18 and earned the top seed ahead of Aussie Emily Seebohm and American Missy Franklin. Hosszu now owns 10 national long course records. SOFLO’s Colorado was 31st in 2:15.55.

In Friday’s championship finals:

Aussie sisters Bronte Campbell and Cate Campbell took the gold and bronze respectively in the 100-meter freestyle. Bronte Campbell won in 52.52 ahead of Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum in 52.70 and Cate Campbell, the reigning world champion, in 52.82. The sisters are the first family to share the same podium as individual’s in swimming history and first to win world titles in the same event.

“It’s a fantastic night for the Campbell family, it’s a fantastic night for Australia,” Cate Campbell said. “I still got to stand up on the podium and sing the national anthem. I could not be more proud of my little sister.”

American’s Simone Manuel was sixth in 53.93 and Missy Franklin was seventh in 54.00 and never factored in the race.

Kanako Watanabe of Japan won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:21.15. American Micah Lawrence took the silver in 2:22.44. Three women tied for third and all got bronze medals: Spain’s Jessica Vall, Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen and China’s Jinglin Shi all finished in 2:22.76. According to several swim experts, it was the first time there was a three-way tie for a medal at a major meet. Earlier in the heats, Gator Swim Club’s Hilda Luthersdottir broke the Iceland national record in 2:23.54 and lowered it in semifinals in 2:23.06.

Saturday women’s events are: 50-meter freestyle heats and semifinals; 50-meter breaststroke heats and semifinals; mixed 4×100-meter freestyle relay; 50-meter butterfly final; 200-meter backstroke final; and 800-meter freestyle final.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


Author: South Florida Aquatic Club - SOFLO Swimming

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