By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, November 14, 2020–In the International Swimming League’s opening semifinal Saturday at Duna Arena, SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson of the London Roar broke a national record and notched two second places.
The 31-year-old four-time Jamaican Olympian broke her own national short course record in the 100-meter butterfly in 57.13 and finished seventh among the field. Her previous record was 57.21 she set, also in an ISL race, on Nov. 9.
Atkinson was second in the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.30, her second fastest time of the year. She was 0.44 out of first won by Benedetta Pilato of the Energy Standard in a best time 28.86.
Atkinson was also a member of the runner-up 4×100-meter medley relay that finish in 3:46.59. Her breaststroke leg was 1:03.73.
The London Roar’s Kira Toussaint of the Netherlands broke the world record in the 50-meter backstroke in 25.60. The record was 25.67 held by Etiene Medeiros of Brazil for six years.
“I have a cue for every part of the race,” Toussaint said after tge race. “For the start, I say ‘jump.’ Underwater, the word for me is ‘attack.’ And then for the breakout, I tell myself to relax. For every part of the race, I have a word. And for the last five meters, I try to stay big. I learned this in 2016 at University of Tennessee.”
In other notable races:
Brit Adam Peaty of London Roar won the 50-meter breaststroke in a best time 25.50.
Tokyo’s Ryosuke Irie won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:49.02.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom of Energy Standard won the 100-meter butterfly in 55.44. Energy teammate Chad Le Clos won the men’s 100-meter butterfly in 49.14.
Florent Manaudou of Energy Standard won the 50-meter freestyle in 20.63.
After opening day, ISL reigning champion Energy Standard leads with 291 followed by London Roar, 270, Tokyo Frog Kings, 208 and New York Breakers 114.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com