SOFLO’s Atkinson Takes Silver At XXI Commonwealth Games


By Sharon Robb

April 6, 2018—Gold medal favorite Alia Atkinson of Jamaica had to settle for silver Friday in her first final at the XXI Commonwealth Games at newly-renovated Optus Aquatic Centre in Gold Coast Australia.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer, the fastest qualifier in the 50-meter breaststroke, was second in 30.76 behind gold medalist Sarah Vasey of England in 30.60. Aussie Leiston Pickett took bronze in 30.78.

The four-time Olympian was slower than she was in the semifinal in 30.53, second in the world rankings, which would have won the gold medal. She duplicated her silver medal effort at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Atkinson will also compete in the 50-meter butterfly and 100-meter breaststroke.

In other finals:

South Africa’s Chad Le Clos won the 50-meter butterfly in a tight race in 23.37. Plantation American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago took silver in 23.67 and Ryan Coetzee of South Africa bronze in 23.73.

Aussie teammates Kyle Chalmers and Mack Horton finished 1-2 in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:45.56 and 1:45.89 respectively. Duncan Scott of Scotland was third in 1:46.30.

Aussie Clyde Lewis won gold in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:13.12. Scotland’s Mark Szaranek was second in 4:13.72 and Lewis Clareburt won New Zealand’s first medal placing third in 4:14.42.

Aussie Mitch Larkin won the 100-meter backstroke in 53.18. Bradley Woodward was second in 53.95 and Markus Thormeyer third in 54.14.

Aussie swept the women’s 100-meter butterfly with Emma McKeon, 56.78, Madeline Groves, 57.19 and Brianna Throssell, 57.30.

Through April 15, more than 70 nations will compete. 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 sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Atkinson Goes For First Gold On Friday At XXI Commonwealth Games


By Sharon Robb

April 5, 2018—After carrying the Jamaican flag in the Opening Ceremonies, Alia Atkinson will go for her first gold medal Friday at the XXI Commonwealth Games at newly-renovated Optus Aquatic Centre in Gold Coast, Australia.

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

On Thursday, the South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer and four-time Olympian was fastest qualifier in the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.53 seconds. Brit Sarah Vasey was second fastest in 30.75 and Aussie teammates Georgia Bohl and Jessica Hansen were third fastest in 30.92.

Atkinson was Jamaica’s flag bearer in the Games’ Opening Ceremony. “Beyond excited and thrilled,” she said.

Atkinson will also compete in the 50-meter butterfly and 100-meter breaststroke.

Other gold medal final events are men’s 50 butterfly, men’s 200-meter freestyle, men’s 400-meter individual medley, men’s 100-meter backstroke, women’s 100-meter butterfly and men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay.

In opening day highlight finals, Australia broke the world record in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay in 3:30.05. Relay members were Shayna Jack, Bronte Campbell, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell. Cate Campbell was coming off a year’s hiatus after a disappointing Rio Olympics.

“To come back from a year off and to be part of something where you are the best in the world is a pretty special moment,” Campbell told reporters.

Canada took silver and England earned bronze in the relay.

Canadian Taylor Ruck, 17, won the 200-meter freestyle in Commonwealth Games and Canadian records of 1:54.81. She was also a member of the silver medalist 4×100 free relay.

Aussie Olympic champion Mack Horton won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:43.76.

Brit Aimee Willmott won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:34.90.

Scottland’s James Wilby won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:08.05.

In the men’s 50-meter butterfly semifinal, Plantation American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago was fourth fastest qualifier in 23.90.

Through April 15, more than 70 nations will compete. 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 sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com