Chad le Clos Back On Top; Dylan Carter Makes Second Final At FINA Short Course World Championships

By Sharon Robb
MELBOURNE, Australia, December 15, 2022—South African Chad le Clos is back on top after winning his 11th title and first in four years at the 16th FINA Short Course World Championships Thursday at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre.

Le Clos, 30, who frequently trains in South Florida, broke into tears after touching the wall first in the 200-meter butterfly in a national record 1:48.27 ahead of Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:49.22) and Switzerland’s Noe Ponti (1:49.42). The 2012 Olympic gold medalist came from behind to win.

“This is four years in the making,” said le Clos, just three gold medals away from matching American Ryan Lochte’s record of 14 individual world short-course titles. Le Clos now trains with Dirk Lange in Germany.

“The warrior spirit is back. It was always there but I had to find a way of channel it again. I know winning isn’t everything, but I have taken a lot of losses lately and been written off by people that are close to me.

“I moved to coaches that believed in me. It didn’t matter who was there tonight, I was prepared to die out there… and to remind these guys that I am still here.

“It means so much to me and my family. I have no words, I am just so grateful that I have my coach behind me. I am coming from such a tough place right now, and I am sorry that I am emotional. To be a world champion is like a dream come true again.”

Australia won two more gold medals to continue its domination of the meet. Kyle Chalmers won the 100-meter freestyle in a championship record 45.16 ahead of 17-year-old David Popovici who finished in a world junior record time of 45.64, and then anchored the winning 4×50-meter freestyle relay with teammates Isaac Alan Cooper, Matthew Temple and Flynn Zareb Southam. Chalmers brought them from fifth to first at the wall.

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Emma McKeon delighted the home crowd when she won by 1/100th of a second in the 100 freestyle in a championship record 50.77.

“That was way too close,” McKeon said. “It was a tight finish but what counts is getting your hand on the wall first, that’s everything.”

In a surprise, Americans Dakota Luther and Hali Flickinger duked it out before Luther overtook Flickinger on the back half to win in 2:03.37. Flickinger finished in 2:03.78.

The Americans success continued with double Olympic champion Lilly King winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.67.

“It’s great to be back,” King said. “In 2016, I was at the meet and I thought I was invincible and SOFLO’s Alia (Atkinson) played me like a fiddle and whipped my butt. I have had that sour taste in my mouth for the last six years and its good to get the title back.”

Nic Fink then made it three straight gold medals for the U.S. when he overcame Britain’s three-time Olympic champion Adam Peaty in the 100 breaststroke gold. Fink won in 55.88. Nicolò Martinenghi of Italy picked up silver in 56.07 and Peaty, after six weeks out of the pool with a foot injury, came away with bronze in 56.25.

“I am really happy with this result, this is a good one to start the meet with and I am looking forward to defend the other two (breaststroke) events as well,” Fink said. “I was really happy with the World Cup season and completing the trifecta (50-100-200).”

Added Peaty, “I don’t get bronze that often, so that will be a weird one for Wikipedia. It’s great to be back in the arena, I am just enjoying the sport again. I am disappointed, but I am not going to allow myself to be. I have been putting in a lot of hard work but they just out-skilled me tonight. It is what it is, I am what I am.”

The U.S. won two more gold medals with former Gator Kieran Smith winning the 400 freestyle in 3:34.38 and women’s 4×50-meter freestyle relay in a championship record of 1:33.89 with Torri Huske, Claire Curzan, Erika Brown and Kate Douglass.

“It’s the first time that I have been at the top of the podium so it’s a new chapter in my career,” said Smith, who skipped his final year of NCAA eligibility at Florida to turn pro. “It was an exciting race and I knew that those guys were going to be tough, but I was ready.

“You could tell from my face at the finish that my body was burning. I always like to swim races from the front, it’s the way I swim confidently. I knew that I had to pay the ultimate price in order to win.”

Two-time Olympian Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago has another shot at a medal after missing out in the sprint butterfly. The Plantation American Heritage alum earned the fifth fastest qualifying time in the 50-meter backstroke semifinals in 22.90 to advance into Friday’s final.

The meet, which ends Sunday, is being live streamed on FINA’s YouTube channel. Meet prelims are 7 p.m. EST. Finals each day are 3:30 a.m. EST. Melbourne is 16 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Adam Peaty Bounces Back With Gold; Dylan Carter Makes Finals At XXII Commonwealth Games

By Sharon Robb
BIRMINGHAM, England, August 2, 2022—In front of his hometown crowd, redemption was sweet for world record holder Adam Peaty at the XXII Commonwealth Games Tuesday at Sandwell Aquatic Center.

After finishing an unexpected fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke, the 27-year-old Brit came back to win his first Commonwealth career gold medal in the 50-meter breaststroke in a season-best 26.76 and fifth Commonwealth gold of his career. He won silver in the event in 2014 and 2018.

The media was harsh after Peaty suffered his first defeat in his specialty event in his eight-year career. Peaty took time off after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. suffered a broken foot in the gym in May, did not compete at worlds in June and is still not 100 percent. His cast was removed only a month ago.

“I just reverted to who I am,” Peaty said. “Mel [Marshall, his coach] said to me ‘today you wake up and play,’ but I said, ‘No, today I fight.’ And I gave literally absolutely everything in my race. I don’t care about the time. I don’t care about the result. I just care about enjoying that crowd and winning.

“It’s been a tough Games, a very hard Games. I came from literally the lowest point two days ago, and I just said ‘you know what, I am a fighter, I am not going to let just anyone take this and walk it.’ I had to work hard for it. I struggled, to be honest, really, really struggled.”

In other finals:
South African Lara van Niekerk knocked off countrywoman and defending champion Tatjana Schoenmaker in the 100-meter breaststroke to win in 1:05.47. Schoenmaker took silver in 1:06.68 and Aussie Chelsea Hodges won bronze in 1:07.05.

Brit Brodie Williams won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:56.40, just 1/100ths ahead of Aussie Bradley Woodward in 1:56.41 and South African Pieter Coetze in 1:56.77.

Aussie teenager Elizabeth Dekkers, 18, won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:07.26 followed by Brit Laura Stephens in 2:07.90 and Aussie Brianna Throssell in 2:08.32.

Aussie reigning champion Mollie O’Callaghan came from behind against an impressive field to win in 52.63 followed by Shayna Jack of Australia in 52.88 and Aussie Emma McKeon in 52.94.

Canadian Josh Liendo won the 100-meter butterfly in 51.24. James Guy of England and Matt Temple of Australia tied for second in 51.40. South African Chad le Clos was fourth in 51.61.

Aussie defending champion Ariarne Titmus broke her own Games record in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:13.59. It was an Aussie sweep with Kiah Melverton in 8:16.79 and Lani Pallister in 8:19.16

The Aussies continued to dominate the relays winning the mixed 4×100-meter medley in 3:41.30 followed by Canada (3:43.98) and England (3:44.03). The winning foursome was Kaylee McKeown, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Matt Temple and Emma McKeon.

Two-time Olympian Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago has another shot at a medal on Wednesday, the final day of the Games. The Plantation American Heritage alum was the fifth fastest qualifier after the semifinals of the 50-meter freestyle in 22.35. Two-time defending champion Ben Proud of England was top qualifier in 21.63.

The meet concludes Wednesday with prelims at 5:30 a.m. EST and finals 2 p.m. EST.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Aussies Break World Record; McKeon Makes History; Peaty Upset In Breaststroke At XXII Commonwealth Games

By Sharon Robb
BIRMINGHAM, England, July 31, 2022—Australia crushed the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay world record Sunday at the XXII Commonwealth Games at Sandwell Aquatic Center.

The foursome of Madi Wilson (1:56.27), Kiah Melverton (1:55.40), Mollie O’Callaghan (1:54.80) and Ariarne Titmus (1:52.82) shattered China’s 2021 world record time of 7:40.33 (set at the Olympic Games) in 7:39.29. Canada took the silver in 7:51.98 and England won bronze in 7:57.11.

Titmus’ anchor leg was the fastest 200 freestyle split in history.

Aussie Olympic champion Emma McKeon made history with a record-breaking 11th Commonwealth Games gold medal by winning the 50-meter freestyle in 23.99, second fastest time in the world this year. Aussies swept the top three spots with Meg Harris (24.32) and Shayna Jack (24.36).

Dylan Carter, 25, of Trinidad and Tobago failed to qualify for Monday’s final in the 50-meter backstroke. He was fourth in his heat in 25.81 failing to advance into the semifinals. He will compete in the 50-meter freestyle heats on Tuesday.

In Sunday finals:
James Wilby of England pulled off the shocker winning the 100-meter breaststroke in 59.25 followed by Aussies Zac Stubblety-Cook (59.52) and Sam Williamson (59.82). World record holder, Olympic champion and pre-meet favorite Adam Peaty lost a 100 breaststroke race for the first time at a major international meet since 2013 and was shut out of a medal. He led at 50 meters but died on the back half to finish fourth in 59.86.

In an exciting men’s race, New Zealand’s Lewis Clareburt won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:55.60 just ahead of South African reigning champion Chad le Clos, 30, in 1:55.89. Brit James Guy was third in 1:56.77.

World record holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:21.96. Aussie Jenna Strauch was second in 2:23.65 and South African teammate Kaylene Corbett was third in 2:23.67.

World record holder Kaylee McKeown of Australia won the 100-meter backstroke in 58.60 ahead of Canadian Kylie Masse (58.73) and Wales’ Medi Harris (59.62).

The meet continues Monday with prelims at 5:30 a.m. EST and finals 2 p.m. EST.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Dressel, Ledecky Make History With Gold Medals, World Record At Tokyo Olympics

By Sharon Robb
TOKYO, Japan, July 30, 2021–Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky more than lived up to expectations Friday at the Olympic Aquatics Centre.

Dressel, 24, broke his own world record in the 100-meter butterfly in 49.45. His previous record was 49.50.

Dressel led with the quickest start (.60 off the blocks) and after the turn (23.00 split) and held off Hungary’s Kristof Milak’s late charge, who was second in a European record 49.68, also a lifetime best.

It was the first world record in an individual event by a male. Dressel is five-for-five in gold medals in two Olympics including two individual and one relay in Tokyo.

It was a busy day for the Clay High School, Bolles Swim Club and University of Florida alum who had a challenging triple in a span of 73 minutes. His semifinal 50-meter freestyle was 46 minutes after the 100 fly final. He then swam anchor on the mixed 400-meter medley relay 27 minutes after the 50 free and butterfly gold medal ceremony.

No American woman has won more gold medals than Katie Ledecky, 24, who won her sixth gold medal in her final event of the Games in the 800-meter freestyle. She won her third consecutive 800 Olympic gold in 8:12.57.

In the final 200 meters, she pulled away from Aussie rival Ariarne Titus who took silver in an Oceanic record 8:13.83. Fifteen-year-old U.S. teammate Katie Grimes was fourth in 8:19.38 and thanked Ledecky for pulling her along. “You’re welcome,” smiled Ledecky leaning on a lane line.

“It’s awesome, I just wanted to finish on a really good note,” Ledecky said. “I’m really happy. I want to try and soak it all in. I’m still in a lot of pain.

“That was not my last swim. I’m going to be around at least until 2024 (Paris Olympics) and maybe 2028 (Los Angeles Olympics). I don’t take anything for granted.”

Local swimmers results:

Coral Springs Swim Club’s Bruno Fratus of Brazil won the eighth heat of the 50-meter freestyle in 21.67. In the first semifinal he was second in 21.60, the 90th time he has broken 22 seconds, more than any other swimmer in history. He will swim in Lane 3 in the final next to Dressel.

Plantation American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago, second in his 50-meter freestyle heat in 22.46.

Westlake Prep alum Renzo Tjon-A-Joe of Suriname, fifth in his 50-meter freestyle heat in 22.56.

Azura’s Samantha Roberts of Antigua was sixth in her 50-meter freestyle heat in 27.63.

PAQ’s Cherelle Thompson of Trinidad & Tobago was eighth in her 50-meter freestyle heat in 26.19.

Azura’s Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador was second in his 1500-meter freestyle in 15:27.37.

In other championship medal finals:

Women’s 200-meter backstroke:
The Aussies continue to have a great showing, this time finishing one-three in the event. Kaylee McKeown came on in the last 20 meters to sweep the backstroke events in 2:04.68. She went 31 seconds on the back end. Early leader Kylie Masse of Canada was second in 2:05.42 and Aussie teammate Emily Seebohm was third in 2:06.17. Americans Rhyan White (2:06.39) and Phoebe Bacon (2:06.40) were out of the medal hunt in fourth and fifth.

Mixed 4×100-meter medley relay: The event made its Olympic debut with the U.S. getting shut out of medals. Great Britain, with Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty (56.78 split), James Guy and Anna Hopkin won with a world record 3:37.58. China was second in 3:38.86 and Australia third in 3:38.95. The U.S. relay of Ryan Murphy (52.23 split), Lydia Jacoby (1:05.09), who lost her goggles on the start and swam with them on her face, Torri Huske (56.27) and Caeleb Dressel (46.99), who was eight seconds behind the leaders when he hit the water, was fifth in 3:40.58.


200-meter backstroke: 1. Kaylee McKeown, AUS 2:04.68, 2. Kylie Masse, CAN 2:05.42, 3. Emily Seebohm, AUS 2:06.17.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, US 8:12.57, 2. Ariarne Titmus, AUS 8:13.83, OC, 3. Simona Quadarella, ITA 8:18.35.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Caeleb Dressel, US 49.45, WR, 2. Kristof Milak, HUN 49.68, ER, 3. Noe Ponti, SUI 50.74.

Mixed 4×100-meter medley relay: 1. Great Britain 3:37.58, WR, 2. China 3:38.86, 3. Australia 3:38.95.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Aussie Ariarne Titmus Knocks Off Katie Ledecky; Peaty, MacNeil, Dressel Win Gold

By Sharon Robb
TOKYO, Japan, July 25, 2021–In a thrilling showdown, Ariarne Titmus of Australia knocked off defending champion and world record holder Katie Ledecky Sunday at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Swimming side-by-side in the 400-meter freestyle, the Tasmanian-born Titmus, 20, closed the gap to 2/10ths of a second at the 300-meter mark and pulled ahead in the final 50 meters to win in 3:56.69, an Oceanic women’s record and second fastest time in history.

Titmus, ranked No. 1 in the world, handed Ledecky, 24, her first individual Olympic loss. The American finished in 3:57.36, her second fastest career time. China’s Bingjie Li was third in an Asian record 4:01.88.

“I can’t believe it, I’m trying to contain my emotions,” Titmus said. “This past year I don’t know whether it’s gone fast or slow, but to get here was a relief. To come here and do the job, I’m over the moon.

“I thanked her, I wouldn’t be here without her. She set this incredible standard. I’ve been trying to chase her, it’s really exciting now we have this battle going. It’s really fun to race.

“I tried to stay as composed as I could. Then just tried to stick to my race plan. I can’t believe I pulled it off.”

The Ledecky-Titmus matchup was one of the most anticipated and talked-about Olympic races. Titmus had defeated Ledecky at the 2019 World Championships in South Korea in the 400 freestyle but Ledecky had a severe stomach virus. In June, Titmus had flirted with Ledecky’s world record of 3:56.46 when she went 3:56.90 at her country’s Olympic trials.

Titmus won the first individual gold medal for Australia since Stephanie Rice in 2008.

“I looked at the 300 and saw she was right there,” Ledecky said. “I knew it would be a fight to the finish. I can’t be disappointed. I did my best, I fought tooth and nail. She said she couldn’t have done it without me and I think she pushed me.”

Titmus’ coach Dean Boxall was emotional and animated after watching his swimmer touch first, running and gyrating in the stands.

It ended Ledecky’s quest to win the first of five possible gold medals. The two will meet again in the 200 and 800 freestyles and 4×200 freestyle relay.

In the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay final, anchor leg Zach Apple pulled away with a 46.6 split for a 9/10ths of a second lead to clinch the win for the U.S. in 3:08.97. Italy was second in 3:10.11 and Australia third in 3:10.22.

Floridian Caeleb Dressel led off in 47.2 followed by Blake Pieroni in 47.5 and Bowen Becker in 47.4 who led by 2/10ths after the third leg.

“We knew there was a huge target on our back,” said Dressel, a Clay High School, Bolles Club and Florida alum. “I’d say we dominated that pretty well. We’re never going to doubt ourselves, that’s not how the U.S. team works. We had a couple people rule us out in that event. We’re never going to take that so it feels nice to dominate and have it back on home soil.”

The U.S. men have won two of the last three Olympic 400 relays.

Local swimmers results:

Azura’s Celina Marquez of El Salvador, fifth in her heat of the 100-meter backstroke in 1:03.75.

Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders, an NSU University School/Pine Crest Club alum, second in his heat of the 200-meter freestyle in 1:49.43.

Azura’s Joaquin Vargas of Peru, third in his heat of the 200-meter freestyle in 1:49.93.

In other championship medal finals:

Women’s 100-meter butterfly:
Canadian Maggie MacNeil, in the outside lane, swam the second fastest time in history to win the gold medal in 55.59 ahead of China’s Yufei Zhang in 55.64 and Aussie Emma McKeon in 55.72. American 18-year-old Stanford-commit Torri Huske o f Arlington, Va. missed the podium by 1/100ths in 55.73. MacNeil, World and Pan Pac champion who swims at University of Michigan, is the first Canadian to win the gold medal in the event. Swimming without her contact lenses, it took her a while to focus on the scoreboard and realize she was listed first. World and Olympic record holder Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden, who bounced back from a shattered elbow sustained slipping on ice, was seventh in 56.91.

Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: Defending champion, world record holder and heavy favorite Adam Peaty of Great Britain won back-to-back Olympic gold in 57.37 ahead of Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands in 58.00, the first medal in the event for his country and Nicolo Martinenghi of Italy in 58.33. American medal favorite Michael Andrew finished out of the medals placing fourth in 58.84.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Maggie MacNeil, CAN 55.59, 2. Yufei Zhang, CHINA 55.64, 3. Emma McKeon, AUS 55.72.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Ariarne Titmus, AUS 3:56.69, 2. Katie Ledecky, US 3:57.36, 3. Bingjie Li, CHINA 4:01.08.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Adam Peaty, GBR 57.37, 2. Arno Kamminga, Netherlands 58.00, 3. Nicolo Martinenghi, ITA 58.33.

4×100-meter freestyle relay: 1. United States 3:08.97, 2. Italy 3:10.11, 3. Australia 3:10.22.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Cali Condors Capture ISL Championship; Dressel, Peaty Break World Records; SOFLO’s Atkinson Takes Silver On Final Day

By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, November 22, 2020–The Cali Condors dethroned defending champion Energy Standard to win the International Swimming League Championship Sunday at Duna Arena.

The Cali Condors, led by MVP Caeleb Dressel, won with 561.5 points. Energy Standard was second with 464.5 followed by London Roar with 391.0 and LA Current with 298.0. Last season the Cali Condors finished third behind Energy Standard and London Roar.

The Cali Condors are the first club in the league’s two-year history to finish a season undefeated.

On the final day, Dressel, 24, broke another world record, this time in the 100-meter individual medley in 49.28 for the second time this season. He took nearly a second off his old world record. Cali Condors teammate Marcin Cieslak was second in 51.17.

Dressel finished with 96 points for match MVP honors and 463.5 points as season MVP.

Brit Adam Peaty of London Roar broke his own world record in the 100-meter breaststroke in 55.41. His previous record was 55.49.

“It feels like every race is a world championship or an Olympic final, it’s incredible,” said London Roar general manager Rob Woodhouse. “Seeing all these world records is just amazing.”

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson of London Roar finished with a silver medal in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.56 behind Lilly King who broke the American record in 1:02.50. King is now third on the all-time list behind world record holders Ruta Meilutyte and Atkinson, both with times of 1:02.36.

King now holds the 50 and 100 breaststroke American record in both short course and long course.

In the women’s 50-meter breaststroke skins event, King won Round One in 28.96 and Atkinson was fourth in 29.58. In Round 2, King won in 29.22 and Atkinson was third in 29.68 and in Round 3, King won in 29.14 and Molly Hannis was second in 30.04. King finished as match MVP runner-up with 71 points Dressel. It was the fifth breaststroke skins win of the season for King.

In other notable races:

LA Current’s Beryl Gastaldello won the 100-meter freestyle in 51.38, just out-touching Energy Standard’s Siobhan Haughey, second in 51.40. Gastaldello also won the 100 individual medley in 57.30.

Dressel also won the 100-meter freestyle in an American record 45.08 ahead of Florent Manaudou of Energy Standard in 46.07. Later in the day, Dressel won the 50-meter butterfly in 22.09 ahead of Tom Shields in 22.32.

Cali Condors finished one-two in the 200-meter butterfly with Hali Flickinger first in 2:03.35 and Kelsi Worrell Dahlia in 2:05.39.

Chad le Clos of Energy Standard knocked off Tom Shields of LA Current in the 200-meter butterfly, 1:48.57-1:48.66. Shields broke his own American record of 1:49.02 and is the first American male swimmer to dip under 1:49.

Olivia Smoliga of Cali Condors won the 100-meter backstroke in an American record 55.04 ahead of Kira Toussaint of London Roar in 55.94.

Kliment Kolesnikov of Energy Standard won the 100-meter backstroke in 48.82 ahead of LA Current’s Ryan Murphy in 49.29. American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of LA Current was fourth in 49.91.

Siobhan Haughey of Energy Standard won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:51.11, just ahead of Freya Anderson of London Roar in 1:51.87 and Allison Schmitt of Cali Condors in 1:52.17. Haughey finished nine-for-nine in the 200 freestyle.

Brit Duncan Scott of Lond Roar won the 200-meter freestyle in a national record 1:40.25. Cali Condors’ Townley Haas was second in 1:40.49, breaking the oldest American record set by Ryan Lochte in 2010. Scott also won the 400 IM in 3:59.83.

Sarah Sjostrom of Energy Standard won the 50-meter butterfly in 24.73.

Energy Standard won the 4×100 mixed freestyle relay in 3:14.21 with Evgeny Rylov, Florent Manaudou, Sarah Sjostrom and Siobhan Haughey ahead of the Cali Condors in 3:14.72 with Caeleb Dressel, Justin Ress, Olivia Smoliga and Erika Brown.

Sydney Pickrem of London Roar won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:24.84 and Flickinger was second in 4:25.50.

In the men’s 50-meter breaststroke, Peaty won Round One in 25.41; Ilya Shymanovich won Round Two in 25.80 and Peaty came back to win the final round in 26.10.

The pro teams, featuring many of the top swimmers in the world, had raced in a protective bubble since October 16 with regular tests for coronavirus. There were no COVID-19 positive tests results during that time.

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics moved to next year (July 23-August 8), and so many other competitions cancelled around the world because of the pandemic, the ISL gave more than 300 swimmers a focus and chance to get up and race while making a paycheck.

“It’s been such a fun time, this whole bubble,” said Dressel, a Clay High, Bolles Club and Florida alum. “This is the most fun I’ve ever had swimming in my life. To have that for six weeks is truly special.”

The ISL, created by Ukrainian billionaire Konstantin Grigorishin, who invested $25 million in the bubble setting with $11 million earmarked for swimmer stipends and prize money, gained more stature in his second year of existence. Grigorishin said the swimmers are taking the ISL seriously now. He hopes to break even in 2022.

“I think everyone kind of thought of it as an anomaly last year, like a new spring football league,” swimming broadcaster Rowdy Gaines said during an interview. “That’s not what it is. It’s not going away.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Peaty Breaks World Short Course Record; SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins, Roar Advances To ISL Final

By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, November 15, 2020—It was a good day for London Roar breaststrokers.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson, a four-time Jamaican Olympian and short course world record holder, owned the 100-meter breaststroke which she won in 1:02.66

Atkinson led the race from start to finish, opening in 29.62 and closing in 33.04 to finish with her fastest time of the season. The time is the only sub-1:03 of the season and is quicker Olympic champion Lilly King of Cali Condors has been, with the American holding the former best of the season in 1:03.16.

Atkinson’s fastest of the season entering this race was 1:03.53. On Sunday she was just .3 outside the world record. She picked up 15 jackpot points.

Italian teen Benedetta Pilato of Energy Standard was second, nearly a second back in 1:03.55 for seven points and national record for the Italian.

Reigning Olympic champion Adam Peaty of London Roar broke the world short course record in the 100-meter breaststroke in 55.49. He broke the 11-year-old record of South African Cameron van der Burgh, 55.61 set on Nov. 15 at the 2009 World Cup in Berlin.

Peaty also won the 50-meter breaststroke skins contest to pick up 14 points.

In other notable results:

Siobhan Haughey of Energy Standard won the 100-meter freestyle in a lifetime-best 51.12. She also won the 200 freestyle in 1:51.36.

Teammate Florent Manaudou won the men’s 100-meter freestyle in 45.92.

Chad le Clos, also of Energy Standard, won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:50.64.

London Roar’s Kira Toussaint won the 100-meter backstroke in 55.90.

Michael Andrew of New York Breakers won the 100-meter individual medley in 51.66 for his first win of the season.

After Day Two, Energy Standard was on top 580.0 followed by London Roar, 517.5, Tokyo Frog Kings, 380.5 and New York Breakers, 239.0.

The Match ended the season for first-year team Tokyo Frog Kings and New York Breakers while Energy Standard and London Roar advanced to the final. Two more finalists will be determined after Monday’s second semifinal.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Atkinson Breaks National Record, Takes Two Seconds; Toussaint Breaks World Record In ISL Semifinal

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Big For ISL’s London Roar

By Sharon Robb

BUDAPEST, Hungary, October 31, 2020—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson continued her winning ways Saturday for the International Swimming League’s undefeated London Roar at Duna Arena.

Atkinson, 31, a four-time Jamaican Olympian, won the 100-meter breaststroke and the Skins final event.

Atkinson completed a breaststroke sweep. After winning her 12th consecutive 50-meter breaststroke title on Friday, she came back to win the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.75 ahead of London teammate Annie Lazor in 1:04.45. Atkinson is only the third woman to crack 1:04 this season.

In Round One of the Skins’ 50-meter breaststroke, Atkinson topped a field of seven swimmers in 29.61, the only swimmer to dip under 30 seconds. In Round 2, she topped a field of four swimmers in 29.89 and in the third and final round, she defeated LA Current’s Anastasia Gorbenko, 30.28-30.38. Atkinson scored 33 points in the Skins event.

American Tom Shields scored 31 points after winning his 50-meter butterfly Skins events.

In other notable races, Shields won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:50.28; Kira Toussaint of London Roar won the 100-meter backstroke in 56.36; and Tokyo’s Yasuhiro Koseki knocked off Adam Peaty of London Roar, 56.11-56.83 in the 100-meter breaststroke.

The four-team standings after Day 2 was London Roar, 499; LA Current, 478.5; Tokyo Frog Kings, 446.5; and DC Trident, 287.

After Match 5, LA Current remains on top of the club standings with nine points followed by London Roar and Cali Condors with eight.

“We had tired athletes in the squad today, but it was a great effort by the team,” London Roar head coach Mel Marshall told reporters.

Atkinson and her London Roar teammates compete next, Nov. 5-6, against Tokyo Frog Kings, Cali Condors and NY Breakers.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins ISL Opening Event For London Roar

By Sharon Robb

BUDAPEST, Hungary, October 18, 2020—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson won her first event for her new team London Roar in its International Swimming League opener at Duna Arena on Sunday.

The four-time Jamaican Olympian won the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.20 and picked up 10 points. Ida Hulkko of Team Iron was second in 29.45.

Atkinson, 31, was three-for-three in the event last season. Her time on Sunday was the fastest of any of those wins in 2019.

Atkinson was also a member of the winning 4×100 medley relay that won in 3:50.27 with teammates Kira Toussaint, Marie Wattel and Maria Kameneva.

In the 200 backstroke, Amy Bilquist of DC Trident upset backstroke favorite Katinka Hosszu. Bilquist won in 2:02.23 while Hosszu faded to fifth in 2:06.86.

London’s Kirill Prigoda and Adam Peaty finished one-two in the 200 breaststroke in 2:04.60 and 2:05.60 respectively. Peaty was also second in the 50 breaststroke in 26.06.

Canadian Sydney Pickrem of London won the 200 individual medley in 2:07.31 while Hosszu was third in 2:07.74.

The team scores after Day One are: London Roar, 294; Aqua Centurions, 197; Iron, 194; and DC Trident 181. Action in the match continues on Monday.

In the opening matches on Friday and Saturday, the Cali Condors knocked off reigning champion Energy Standard. The Condors were led by Caeleb Dressel, Lilly King, Molly Hannis and Olivia Smoliga.

American Heritage alum and Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter swam the second fastest time of his career in the 100-meter backstroke in 51.28 to finish sixth for the LA Current. The Condors’ Ryan Murphy and Bolles alum won the event in 49.23. Carter also finished seventh in the 50-meter butterfly in 23.25. The Condors’ Caleb Dressel, another Bolles and Clay alum, won in 22.46.

After two days of swimming, Cali Condors won with 567 points followed by Energy Standard, 463; LA Current, 420; and New York Breakers 266.

Sharon Robb can be reached at