By Sharon Robb
October 29, 2015—Alia Atkinson of the South Florida Aquatic Club returned to the medal podium on Day Two of the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series Thursday at Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center.
The three-time Jamaican Olympian, after failing to make the 100-meter breaststroke final, placed second in the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.79. Atkinson was the top seed after morning prelims in 30.86.
American Molly Hannis, winner of the 100 breaststroke and second seed in the sprint event in 30.93, won in 30.63. Aussie Leiston Pickett was third in 30.88.
In the 50-meter butterfly, Atkinson tied for eighth in 27.55 with Japan age group swimmer Asuka Kobayashi. Atkinson chose not to swim the swim-off.
In other championship finals:
Japan’s Rikako Ikee and Miki Uchida finished one-two in the 100-meter freestyle in 54.14 and 54.24 respectively. Hungarian Katinka Hosszu was third in 54.39. Ikee and Uchida also went one-two in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.17, a new junior world record, and 26.23.
Japan swept the top three spots in the men’s 200-meter freestyle with top seed Yuuki Kobori winning in 1:47.59.
South African Cameron Van der Burgh continued to dominate the breaststroke events by winning the 100-meter breaststroke in 59.97. American Kevin Cordes was fourth in 1:01.35.
Aussie Christopher Wright won the 100-meter butterfly in 52.77. American Tom Shields was third in 52.83, just .01 out of second.
Emily Seebohm of Australia won the 100-meter backstroke in 58.37. It was her eighth consecutive World Cup win in the event and her second-fastest time this year. Hosszu was second in 1:00.01.
American David Plummer won the 50-meter backstroke in 24.58, third fastest time in the world this year. U.S. swimmer Michael Andrew was third in 25.30.
Japan world champion Natsumi Hoshi won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:08.13.
Japan’s Hiromasa Fujimori won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:59.76 to lead another top three sweep by Japan swimmers.
Hosszu picked up her first win of the day in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:08.87.
Japanese national record holder Katsumi Nakamura won the 50-meter freestyle in 22.15. American Anthony Ervin was third in 22.56.
Rie Kaneto of Japan won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:23.01.
World champion Mitch Larkin of Australia won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:53.34, both a national and Commonwealth record.
Japan dominated the men’s 1500-meter freestyle with Ayatsugu Hirai winning in 15:16.39 followed by Syogo Takeda in 15:16.76 and Yousuke Miyamoto in 15:20.69.
Hosszu won her second gold medal of the day in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:37.26.
This is the third and final cluster that finishes in Doha and Dubai next week. The Doha event is No. 2-3 and Dubai is Nov. 6-7.
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.
The World Cup events are being live-streamed for free on FINATV.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org