By Sharon Robb
October 28, 2015—In one of the biggest surprises of opening day action, three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson failed to make the final in her signature event on opening day of the FINA World Cup Series in Tokyo.
The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer finished a disappointing tenth in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:08.86, failing to make the final for the first time on the FINA World Cup Series. She was the top seed in 1:06.21.
American Molly Hannis was the top seed in 1:07.12 and came back to win in 1:07.71 followed by Japan’s Runa Imai in 1:07.87 and Aussie Leiston Pickett in 1:07.96.
Atkinson, fifth on the FINA World Cup points list, is the only Florida swimmer in the field. On Thursday, Atkinson is entered in the 50-meter breaststroke (30.11) and 50-meter butterfly (26.65).
In other championship finals:
Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura won the men’s 100-meter freestyle in 49.17.
Hungarian Katinka Hosszu won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:56.67.
South African Cameron Van Der Burgh won the 50-meter breaststroke in 27.18 ahead of training partner Giulio Zorzi in 27.93. American Michael Andrew was sixth in 28.20.
Japan’s Rikako Ikee won the women’s 100-meter butterfly in 57.56.
Aussie Mitch Larkin won the 100-meter backstroke in 52.48. American David Plummer was third in 53.39.
Emily Seebohm of Australia won the 50-meter backstroke in 27.49. U.S. Olympian Natalie Coughlin was second in 28.25, shaving .19 seconds off her prelims time of 28.44.
Japan’s Masato Sakai won the men’s 200-meter butterfly in 1:55.75.
Hosszu won her second event in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:09.85. American Caitlin Leverenz took second in 2:11.26.
Japan’s Yousuke Miyamoto won the men’s 400-meter freestyle in 3:49.68.
Aussie Melanie Wright won the 50-meter freestyle in 24.92. Coughlin was seventh in 25.44.
Yukihiro Takahashi won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:09.50. American Kevin Cordes, who is training in Singapore, was eighth in 2:12.82.
Seebohm won her second event in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:08.08. Hosszu was second in 2:10.11.
American Giles Smith won the 50-meter butterfly in 23.68. Michael Andrew was third in 23.94.
Yukimi Moriyama won the women’s 800-meter freestyle in 8:40.98. Hosszu was second in 8:42.87.
Hungarian David Verraszto won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:15.60.
This is the third and final cluster. The sixth stop begins in Tokyo and finishes in Doha and Dubai next week.
Pine Crest All-American swimmer Marta Ciesla will represent the U.S. in the final two meets in the Middle East. She is foregoing this week’s region and next week’s state meets to represent her country.
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.
The top three finishers in each event earn $1,500, $1,000 and $500. There is also a $10,000 payout for world records and cluster bonuses awarded from $50,000 to $5,000 among the top six.
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.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org