By Sharon Robb
October 27, 2015—Three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson will be the lone Florida swimmer competing when the FINA World Cup Series resumes Wednesday in Tokyo.
The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer will open the two-day meet in the 100-meter breaststroke, her signature event. She is seeded first in 1:06.21. American Laura Sogar and Aussie Leiston Pickett will be her top challengers.
Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, Aussies Mitch Larkin and Emily Seebohm, Sweden’s Jennier Johansson along with Americans Anthony Ervin, Michael Andrew, Tom Shields, Kevin Cordes, Caitlin Leverenz, Kate Ziegler and Natalie Coughlin are the top name swimmers entered.
The majority of the meet has attracted Japanese swimmers including Natsumi Hoshi and Kanako Watanabe.
Hosszu, 26, three-time World Cup overall winner, is in the driver’s seat to win her fourth title in 2015.
“For me, being a winner so many times comes from not over-obsessing,” Hosszu said during the pre-meet press conference on Tuesday.
“I’m not afraid to fail and to challenge myself, I try to push the limits,” Hosszu said. “It’s mostly mental. I don’t think I do anything special to recover physically. It’s more about working hard and being mentally ready for that challenge on your body.”
This is the World Cup’s third and final cluster. The sixth stop begins in Tokyo and finishes in Doha and Dubai in November.
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 through 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 email@example.com