By Sharon Robb
CLERMONT, April 29, 2021—Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson opened the UANA Tokyo Qualifier with a first and second in sprint events on Thursday at Orlando Health National Training Center.
Atkinson, 32, won the 50-meter breaststroke in 31.69 for her tenth consecutive win on U.S. soil. She has not lost the event since May 2016.
She was also second in the 50-meter butterfly in 27.03 behind third-seeded 16-year-old Athena Meneses Kovacs of Mexico in a lifetime-best and 27.01.
Atkinson competes in the 100-meter breaststroke on Friday. She is seeded second in her signature event behind Melissa Rodriguez Villanueva, 26, of Britania Desert Dragons.
U.S. Olympic trials qualifier Julia Podkoscielny, 16, of Pine Crest Swim Team tied Alexia Patricia Sotomayor, 14, of Club De Regatas Lima for second in the 50-meter backstroke in 29.59.
Bahamian national team member Izaak Bastian, 20, swimming unattached-Florida State was second in the 50-meter breaststroke in 28.22.
Other winners were:
Kate Beavon, 21, Unattached-Boilermaker Aquatics, 1,500-meter freestyle, 16:55.59.
McKenna DeBever, 24, Tennessee Aquatics 50-meter backstroke, 29.52, lifetime-best after being seeded 11th in 30.82.
Top-seeded Bobby Finke, 21, Unattached-University of Florida, 800-meter freestyle, 7:55.05.
Jorge Andres Iga Cesar, 24, Mexico 24.00, lifetime-best and national record, 50-meter butterfly.
Top-seeded Adam Chaney, 19, Unattached-University of Florida, 50-meter backstroke 26.10.
Josue Dominguez, 24, Dominican Republic, 50-meter breaststroke, 27.98, lifetime-best and national record.
The four-day meet, hosted by Azura Florida Aquatics and Montverde Academy Swimming, has attracted 300 swimmers and 74 teams from 60 nations.
As a FINA-approved event, swimmers who participate will be eligible to qualify for the July 23-August 8 Tokyo Olympic Games; Sept. 9-19 Junior Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia; Dec. 15-20 FINA SCM World Championship in Abu Dhabi and May 13-29, 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
UANA (Union Americana de Natación or Swimming Union of the Americas) is the international governing body in the Western Hemisphere for amateur aquatics. UANA is one of five continental regions within FINA.
Friday through Sunday, prelims are 9 a.m. and finals 5 p.m. Friday’s events are: men’s and women’s 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter breaststroke, 100-meter backstroke and 400-meter individual medley.
The meet is being shown on the Pan Am Sports TV channel available on an app which can be downloaded for free on various devices.
1,500-meter freestyle: 1. Kate Beavon, Unattached 16:55.59, 2. Chloe Kim, SCAR 17:03.70, 3. Kate Hurst, SCAR 17:06.14.
50-meter butterfly: 1. Athena Meneses Kovacs, EMEX 27.01, 2. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 27.03, 3. Jenny Holden, Unattached 27.20.
50-meter backstroke: 1. McKenna DeBever, TINAQ 29.52, 2. tie, Julia Podkoscielny, PC 29.59 and Alexia Patricia Sotomayor, RL 29.59.
50-meter breaststroke: 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 31.69, 2. Melissa Rodriguez-Villanueva, BDD 31.83, 3. Emily Santos, MVAC 32.77.
800-meter freestyle: 1. Bobby Finke, Unattached 7:55.05, 2. Alfonso Mestre, Unattached 7:56.94, 3. Ricardo Vargas Jacobo, EMEX 8:03.20.
50-meter butterfly: 1. Jorge Andres Iga Cesar, EMEX 24.00, 2. Kent Olsen-Stavrakas, STAR 24.15, 3. Isaac Davis, Unattached 24.18; 26. Miguel Cancel, Unattached Florida 25.89, time drop 1.66.
50-meter backstroke: 1. Adam Chaney, Unattached 26.10, 2. Yeziel Morales, Azura 26.13, 3. Diego Camacho Salgado, OLYM 26.26, 4. Patrick Groters 26.41, time drop 0.19, 16. Miguel Cancel, Unattached Florida 27.44, time drop 0.17, 23. Juan Colmenares, VEN 28.83, time drop 0.11.
50-meter breaststroke: 1. Josue Dominguez, DOM 27.98, 2. Izaak Bastian, Unattached FSU 28.22, 3. Edgar Crespo, SA 28.23, 19. Miguel Cancel, Unattached Florida 30.39, time drop 3.07, 26. Javier Colmenares, VEN 31.14.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com