By Sharon Robb
December 7, 2016—Lilly King broke her own American record and knocked off world record holder Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club in the 50-meter breaststroke Wednesday at the FINA Short Course World Championships at WFCU Centre in Windsor Ontario, Canada.
King improved upon the record she set on Tuesday by cracking 29 seconds for the first time in her career. King won in an impressive 28.92, fourth fastest all-time performance and eighth fastest swim in history.
Heavily-favored Atkinson, a four-time Olympian for Jamaica, was the top seed after prelims and semifinals and was hoping to break her own world record of 28.64 set in October in Tokyo during the FINA World Cup Series. She had to settle for second in 29.11. American Molly Hannis was third in 29.58.
King was also a member of the world-record breaking 200-meter medley relay that won in 1:43.27 with Ali DeLoof, Kelsi Worrell and Katrina Konopka. The previous world record of 1:44.24 set by Denmark in 2014.
SOFLO teammate Marc Rojas, making his international debut for the Dominican Republic, will compete in two events on Thursday. After swimming the 100 breaststroke on Tuesday, he will swim the 100-meter individual medley and 200-meter breaststroke heats.
In other events:
Men’s 100-meter backstroke: Aussie Mitch Larkin poured it on down the stretch to overtake the field to defend his title and win in 49.65.
Women’s 200-meter butterfly: Hungarian Katina Hosszu, showing no signs of letting up despite her Herculean scheduled of 12 events, won her second gold medal of the meet in 2:02.15. Hosszu held off American Kelsi Worrell, second in 2:02.89.
Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: Germany’s Mario Koch won his country’s first medal of the meet in 56.77. Russian Vladimir Morozov was second in 57.00. At one point in the race, all eight swimmers were within 0.41 of each other.
Men’s 200-meter freestyle: Korea’s Park Tae Hwan knocked off South African Chad Le Los, 1:41.03-1:41.64 in an exciting race. Dylan Carter, after setting a national record for Trinidad and Tobago in the morning to earn the top seed, faded to fourth.
Women’s 100-meter freestyle semifinals: Aussie Brittany Elmsilie earned the top seed in 52.19 but don’t count Canadians Penny Oleksiak and Sandrine Mainville, who train at various times at Pine Crest, out of the medal hunt tonight.
Men’s 100-meter butterfly semifinals: Great Britain’s Adam Barrett earned the top seed in 49.21 ahead of American Tom Shields in 49.46 and Le Clos.
SOFLO’s talented group begins competing Thursday at the four-day U.S. Winter East Junior Nationals that began Wednesday with relays at Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio.
2016 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier Kathleen Golding leads SOFLO’s six-swimmer contingent. Golding, 16, is seeded 17th in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:00.34. The IM is one of six events Golding is qualified in. She will also swim the 50 freestyle, 400 IM, 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 200 breaststroke.
Joining Golding are SOFLO teammates Max Asnis in the 200 butterfly; Kelley Heron in the 100 backstroke and 200 IM and 200 backstroke bonus races; Luke Lezotte in the 50 freestyle; Ervin Marin in the 200 IM and 400 IM and 100 breaststroke bonus races; and Jessica Rodriguez in the 200 breaststroke bonus race and 100 breaststroke. It is one of the largest contingents to represent SOFLO at the national level.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com