By Sharon Robb
SHENZHEN, China, January 14, 2020–Alia Atkinson took a bronze medal in the 50-meter breaststroke Tuesday in the season-opening 2020 FINA Champions Swim Series at Shenzhen Universiade Center Swimming Natatorium.
The four-time Jamaican Olympian and short course world record holder finished third in 30.63 behind Italy’s Martina Carraro in 30.38 and American Molly Hannis in 30.49. All three bettered the previous No. 1 world-ranked time of 30.68. Carraro had raced the 200 breaststroke earlier where she finished third.
Atkinson, who won $6,000 for third place, will swim the 100-meter breaststroke on Wednesday. She is seeded in 1:07.06.
“Being the beginning of 2020, and given the field of athletes here, this competition is important to see where I am, and also to measure what can I succeed at the Olympics, what is within reach or not,” said the 31-year-old Atkinson.
Host China dominated opening day action winning five of the 15 gold medals up for grabs.
It is the first leg of the series with the second stop on Jan. 18-19 in Beijing. The meet featured only 70 swimmers (41 men and 29 women). Almost $2 million in prize money is up for grabs at the two stops.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org