By Sharon Robb
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, December 19, 2021–South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson redeemed herself and will have one last shot at a medal in her final career 100-meter breaststroke race on Monday.
The five-time Jamaican Olympian, after being disqualified earlier in the week in the 50-meter breaststroke semifinals, earned the fourth fastest seed in the semifinals Sunday at the 15th FINA Short Course World Championships at Etihad Arena.
Atkinson, 33, qualified fourth in 1:04.26 behind China’s Qianting Tang (1:03.99), Sweden’s Sophie Hansson (1:04.17) and Ireland’s Mona McSharry (1:04.22).
SOFLO teammate Julio Horrego, representing Honduras, will also swim on Monday in the 50-meter breaststroke prelims.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter, a Plantation American Heritage alum, swam the third fastest time in the semifinals of the 50-meter butterfly in a national time 22.18 and is in medal contention going into the final.
In championship final action:
The U.S. men’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay broke the American record to win gold in 6:47.00 with relay members Kieran Smith, Trenton Julian, Carson Foster and Ryan Held. Julian had the fastest split of 1:41.35. The previous record was 6:49.58 set in 2010.
Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands won the 50-meter butterfly in a meet record 24.44, second fastest women’s 50 butterfly of all-time. American 17-year-old Claire Curzan broke the world junior record in 24.55 and took the bronze.
Kliment Kolesnikov of the Russian Swimming Federation won his first gold medal of the meet, winning the 100-meter individual medley in 51.09. Less than a hour later, he won the 50-meter backstroke in 22.66. Christian Diener of Germany and Lorenzo More of Italy tied for the silver in 22.90.
Israeli teenager Anastasia Gorbenko continued her outstanding meet winning her second gold medal in the 100-meter individual medley in a best time 57.80. She overtook the lead on the breaststroke and led for the remainder of the race.
China’s Li Bingjie won her second gold of the meet in the 400-meter freestyle in 3:55.83, a day after winning the 800 freestyle.
Great Britain’s Ben Proud won the 50-meter freestyle in 20.45, just 0.05 shy of his national record.
In a hotly-contested race, Italy won the 4×50-meter men’s freestyle relay in 1:23.61, just ahead of the Russian Swimming Federation in 1:23.75 and the Netherlands in 1:23.78.
The five-day meet continues Monday with the pool competition and ends Tuesday.
FINA is offering a prize money pool of $2.8 million, a 50 percent increase in prize money for individual swimmers. There is also be a $50,000 bonus for any swimmer who breaks a world record.
The top eight individual payoffs for first through eighth place are $10,000, $8,000, $7,000, $6,000, $5,000, $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000.
There are 943 swimmers from 183 countries competing. The swimming is part of the Aquatics Festival which includes open water swimming, high diving and diving team competition.
Final sessions of the pool swimming will be streamed on NBC Sports’ Olympic Channel. Eurovision Sport’s All Aquatics will air the heats.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com