SOFLO’s Atkinson Wins Second Gold At FINA/Airweave World Cup; Next Up Beijing On Tuesday


By Sharon Robb

September 26, 2015—Alia Atkinson continued her winning streak at the FINA/Airweave World Cup in Hong Kong.

Atkinson, 26, a three-time Jamaican Olympian and longtime South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer, won the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.90 at the Victoria Park Swimming Pool. She went 30.76 in prelims.

It was her second gold medal of the meet after winning the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:07.91. She pocketed another $1,500 for first.

In other events, Atkinson was sixth in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:25.62 but scratched from the final. She was 12th in the 50-meter freestyle in 27.02 and failed to qualify for the final.

Atkinson is fourth in prize money ($4,000) behind Katinka Hosszu ($79,000), Emily Seebohm ($46,500) and Zsuzsanna Jakobos ($17,500). Hosszu pocketed $13,500 in Hong Kong.

Atkinson is ranked fourth in the world in her signature event in 1:06.21. Atkinson is training through the meet.

Australia’s Dan Smith and Japan’s Masato Sakai and Yuki Shirai finished tied with $3,500 to lead the men’s prize money list after Hong Kong.

Defending World Cup series champions Hosszu and South African Cameron van der Burgh remain in the lead for the overall money series.

Second day action was similar to the opening day with a handful of stars dominating a weak field of international swimmers.

And for the second day, Hosszu dominated the meet. She won eight gold medals and ten overall (silver, bronze).

Among other Saturday championship finals:

Van der Burgh won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:00.23.

Aussie Cate Campbell won the 100-meter freestyle in 53.60 against a field that featured Hosszu and Americans Missy Franklin and Madison Kennedy.

Dan Smith of Australia won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:48.81.

Viacheslav Prudnikov of Russia and Aussie Nic Brown tied for first in the 100-meter butterfly in 53.64.

Aussie Emily Seebohm won the 50-meter backstroke in 28.69.

Hosszu won the 200-meter butterfly, 400-meter freestyle and 400-meter individual medley.

Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura won the 50-meter freestyle in 22.15.

The second cluster of the 2015 FINA/Airweave World Cup is now headed to Beijing for action on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The cluster winds up on Oct. 3-4 in Singapore where SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson, Carolina Colorado and Coach Chris Anderson will remain to participate in an Oct. 5-10 training camp with Swimming Singapore national team high performance coach and former Bolles coach Sergio Lopez.

The full eight-leg World Cup is being held in long course leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics to attract a larger entry of star swimmers. Several world-class swimmers opted not to compete.

Prelims are 9:30 p.m. and finals at 6 a.m. EST. The World Cup action is being live-streamed for free on FINATV.

St. Augustine’s Anh Vien of Vietnam is not competing in the third cluster, opting instead to compete in the eighth Asian Age Group Championships in Bangkok, Thailand, Oct. 1-4. The 19-year-old will also compete in the Oct. 7-10 Military World Games before returning to the World Cup Series in Tokyo on Oct. 28.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

Golding, Rodriguez Lead SOFLO At Distance Challenge


By Sharon Robb

September 25, 2015—Kathleen Golding was top finisher for the South Florida Aquatic Club Friday night in the SOFLO Distance Open Invite at Academic Village Pool.

Golding, 14, one of the youngest swimmers in the field, was second in the 1,000-yard freestyle in 10:31.19.

Daniella Van Den Berg, 19, of Azura Florida Aquatics won the event in 10:08.98.

SOFLO had three other swimmers in the Top 8. Kelley Heron was sixth in 11:01.51, Jessica Rodriguez, 16, was seventh in 11:06.09 and Marianna Serrao, 14, was eighth in 11:07.99.

Rafael Rodriguez, 13, was SOFLO’s top boys finisher in the 1,000-yard freestyle in a best time 9:56.79, dropping 0.84. SOFLO had three other swimmers in the Top 8.

Azura Florida Aquatics swept the top four spots including champion Marcelo Acosta, 19, in a best time 8:59.53.

The meet continues Saturday with the IMR-IMX Challenge Open Invite.

Nearly 400 swimmers are competing to get a chance to see how they stack up against the rest of the nation’s age group swimmers.

FRIDAY RESULTS

GIRLS

1,000-yard freestyle: 1. Daniella Van Den Berg, Azura 10:08.98, 2. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 10:31.19, 3. Andrea Van Den Berg, Azura 10:41.94, 4. Victoria Miyamoto, Pompano 10:43.61, 5. Sloan Sizemore, Pompano 10:56.98, 6. Kelley Heron, SOFLO 11:01.51, 7. Jessica Rodriguez, SOFLO 11:06.09, 8. Marianna Serrao, SOFLO 11:07.99.

BOYS

1,000-yard freestyle: 1. Marcelo Acosta, Azura 8:59.53, 2. Franco Lupoli, Azura 9:11.28, 3. Miguel Bermudez, Azura 9:34.81, 4. Andres Lares, Azura 9:42.92, 5. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 9:56.79, 6. Leonardo Mateus, SOFLO 10:04.09, 7. Samuel Asnis, SOFLO 10:04.88, 8. Ervin Marin, SOFLO 10:06.78.

IF YOU GO

What: IMR-IMX Challenge Open Invite

When: Saturday-Sunday, IMX/IMR Challenge, 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Where: Academic Village Pool, 17191 Sheridan St., Pembroke Pines

Of note: Nine teams are competing–Azura Florida Aquatics, Boca Raton Swim Team, Gulliver Swim Club, Hammerhead Aquatics, Hialeah Swim Club, Pompano Beach Piranhas, SOFLO, Swim Fort Lauderdale and SwimFast.

Admission: $3 per session, $3 heat sheets per session. For information call 954-538-3721.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Takes Gold On Day One Of FINA/Airweave World Cup Opener In Hong Kong


By Sharon Robb

September 25, 2015—Three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club won a gold medal on opening day of the FINA/Airweave World Cup in Hong Kong.

Atkinson, 26, won the 100-meter breaststroke without having to push the pace at the Victoria Park Swimming Pool.

Atkinson won in 1:07.91 against a slow, lackluster field and pocketed $1,500. Russia’s Vitalina Simonova took silver in 1:09.63 and China’s Lui Xiaoyu grabbed the bronze in 1:09.87. Atkinson was the only star breaststroker in the women’s field.

Atkinson is ranked fourth in the world in her signature event in 1:06.21. Atkinson is training through the meet. With her two wins during the first cluster, Atkinson has won $4,500.

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, three-time defending World Cup champion, stole the spotlight on Day One. The Iron Lady competed in six events, winning five golds and one bronze medal.

In Friday’s championship finals:

Katsumi Nakamura of Japan won the 100-meter freestyle in 49.48 just ahead of Aussie Kenneth To in 49.52. To is coming off back surgery. The field was missing several top swimmers including Chad Le Clos of South Africa and Mehdy Metella of France.

Hosszu won her first gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:55.81, her fastest time of the year. Missy Franklin took the silver in 1:58.38.

South African Cameron Van der Burgh won the 50-meter breaststroke in 27.23. It was his 35th

gold medal at a World Cup meet.

Hosszu won her second event in the 100-meter butterfly in 59.31 just 30 minutes after her first race.

Japan’s Yuki Shirai won the men’s 100-meter backstroke in 54.39.

Aussie world champion Emily Seebohm won the 50-meter backstroke in 27.90, the only swimmer under 28 seconds. Hosszu took a bronze in 28.49 and Franklin was fifth in 28.87.

Japan’s Masato Sakai won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:56.25.

Hosszu won the third gold medal of the night and 23rd World Cup gold in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:11.78. It was also her 17th consecutive World Cup win in the event.

Aussie Dan Smith won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:52.68.

In the battle of the Campbell sisters, Aussie Cate Campbell won the 50-meter freestyle in 24.60 just touching out sister Bronte in 24.94.

Akihiro Yamaguchi of Japan won the 200-meter breaststroke in the most exciting race of the night. Yamaguchi won in 2:13.13 just 1/100th of a second ahead of countryman Ippei Watanabe.

Hosszu won her fourth gold medal against a stacked field in 2:08.61 in the 200-meter backstroke. Seebohm took silver in 2:09.77 and Franklin settled for the bronze in 2:11.23. Franklin has now lost more 200 backstroke races this year than in all the previous years of her career combined.

Japan took another gold medal in the 50-meter butterfly with Geoff Cheah, coming off a long layoff, took gold in 24.23.

Hosszu won her fifth and final gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:42.88.

Hungarian David Verraszto won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:18.06.

The second cluster of the 2015 FINA/Airweave World Cup is Sept. 25-26 in Hong Kong, Sept. 29-30 in Beijing and Oct. 3-4 in Singapore where Atkinson, Colorado.

The full eight-leg World Cup is being held in long course leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics to attract a larger entry of star swimmers but officials and sponsors said the plan backfired since several world-class swimmers opted not to compete.

The second day of the Hong Kong leg is Saturday with prelims at 9:30 p.m. and finals at 6 a.m. EST. The action is being live-streamed for free on FINAtv.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com