SOFLO’s Atkinson, Anderson Down Under At 21st Commonwealth Games That Begin Wednesday

By Sharon Robb

April 2, 2018—South Florida Aquatic Club will be well-represented at the Commonwealth Games during the seven days of swimming competition.

Alia Atkinson of Jamaica will compete under the watchful eye of SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson.

From Thursday through April 15, more than 70 nations will compete at the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. The swimming competition at the newly-renovated Optus Aquatic Centre, ends Tuesday, April 12.

The women’s breaststroke events are on Day One, Three and Four opening up with the 50-meter sprint. Aussie Leiston Pickett is currently ranked fourth in the world after swimming 30.60 at her country’s trials last month. Teammates Jessica Hansen (30.77) and Georgia Bohl (31.00) are also among medal favorites.

Atkinson hopes to improve upon or at least repeat her silver medal performance at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Atkinson, who will carry the Jamaican flag in the Opening Ceremonies, will also compete in the 50-meter butterfly and 100-meter breaststroke.

The only other local swimmers in the field are Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas and Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Commonwealth Games have been held since 1930, open only to athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations, including countries such as Australia, Canada, India and United Kingdom.

While there are only 52 countries in the Commonwealth of Nations, 70 countries compete in the Commonwealth Games.

Sharon Robb can be reached at