SOFLO’s Atkinson Wins Another Gold, Bronze On Final Day Of FINA/Airweave World Cup Series In Dubai

By Sharon Robb

November 7, 2015—Three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club won another gold medal on the final day of the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai, the final stop on the series.

The 26-year-old Atkinson won the 50-meter breaststroke in a season-best 30.26, just off her Jamaican national record of 30.17. Atkinson was also third in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.95.

Atkinson finished the third cluster with $37,000 including a $30,000 bonus for third place in points behind Katinka Hosszu ($50,000) and Emily Seebohm ($35,000). She finished the series with $60,250 in prize money.

Hosszu of Hungary and South African Cameron van der Burgh each picked up $100,000 in bonus checks as the series leading points winners. Hosszu finished with 669 points and $325,000 and Van der Burgh with 369 $262,000 in total prize money. It was Hosszu’s fifth consecutive World Cup title.

In other championship finals:

Melanie Wright of Australia won the 100-meter freestyle in 53.79. Hosszu was second in 53.64.

Great Britain’s James Guy won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:46.60.

Van der Burgh won the 100-meter breaststroke in 59.05, knocking off favorite Adam Peaty of Britain who finished second in 59.28. Van der Burgh is the first male swimmer to sweep the 50 and 100 breaststroke events in the World Cup Series in the same year.

South African Chad Le Clos won the 100-meter butterfly in a season-best 51.09. American Tom Shields was second in 51.90.

Aussie Emily Seebohm won the 100-meter backstroke in 58.51 to win her tenth gold medal in the event on the series. Hosszu took another silver in 59.15.

American David Plummer won the 50-meter backstroke in 24.64.

Hungary’s Zsuzsanna Jakabos won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:07.77.

Japan’s Keita Sunama won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:00.72.

Lauren Boyle of New Zealand overtook early leader Hosszu to win in 4:04.26. Hosszu as second in 4:06.97.

Brazilians Bruno Fratus won the 50-meter freestyle in 22.05 ahead of Le Clos in 22.22. American Anthon Ervin was third in 22.40.

Turkey’s Viktoria Gunes won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:22.87.

Aussie Mitch Larkin won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:53.17, lowering his national, Commonwealth and Oceanic records by 2/10ths of a second.

American Felicia Lee won the 50-meter butterfly in 26.69.

Czech swimmer Jan Micka won the 1500-meter freestyle in a national record 15:02.08. Mykhailo Romanchuk of the Ukraine was a close second in 15:03.68.

Hosszu finished the World Cup event with another gold medal in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:33.88, fastest time in the world this year.

A field of 450 swimmers from 56 countries competed on the final stop.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Donahue Gets Second Medal On Day Two Of FINA World Cup Series In Moscow

By Sharon Robb

August 12, 2015—Claire Donahue of South Florida Aquatic Club added another medal Wednesday in the FINA World Cup Series opening stop in Moscow.

The 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medalist added a bronze medal to her 100-meter butterfly gold after placing third in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.20 on Day Two.

Donahue totaled $1,750 for two days of work.

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu is already on her way to defending her FINA World Cup crown with $7,500 and 75 total points after two days of competition.

South African Cameron van der Burgh leads the men’s standings with $3,000 and 48 points.

Swimmers are competing for $1,500 for first, $1,000 for second and $500 for third in addition to a $10,000 bonus check for a world record performance. A prize purse of $92,000 is being offered at each FINA stop.

The second leg of the opening cluster is this weekend in Paris-Chartres where three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club will join the team. Also competing are SOFLO’s Carolina Colorado and Jorge Murillo of Colombia.

The FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup comprises eight legs distributed over three clusters with eight different events held separately in Moscow, Paris-Chartres, Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo, Doha and Dubai. The event has attracted 250 swimmers in 32 events.



100-meter freestyle: 1. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 54.10, 2. Natalia Lovtcova, Russia 54.62, 3. Veronika Popova, Russia 54.73.

50-meter breaststroke: 1. Katie Meili, USA 30.76, 2. Breeja Larson, USA 30.84, 3. Melanie Margalis, USA 31.44.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Emily Seebohm, Australia 58.88, 2. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 59.46, 3. Mie Oe Nielsen, Denmark 1:00.52; FLORIDA: 6. Carolina Colorado, Colombia/South Florida Aquatic Club 1:02.26.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Cammile Adams, USA 2:06.33, 2. Franziska Hentke, Germany 2:06.51, 3. Madeline Groves, Australia 2:07.67.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Yiwen Shao, China 4:07.30, 2. Diletta Carli, Italy 4:08.12, 3. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 4:08.28; FLORIDA: 15. Nguyen Vien, Vietnam/St. Augustine 4:24.77.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Vitaline Simonova, Russia 2:22.94, 2. Tessa Wallace, Australia 2:23.97, 3. Mariia Astashkina, Russia 2:26.06.

50-meter butterfly: 1. Jeanette Ottesen, Denmark 25.51, 2. Svetlana Chimrova, Club 5 26.14, 3. Claire Donahue, USA/South Florida Aquatic Club 26.20; FLORIDA: 9. Carolina Colorado, Colombia/South Florida Aquatic Club 27.36.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 4:36.25, 2. Nguyen Vien, Vietnam 4:40.79, 3. Lara Grangeon, France 4:41.54.


200-meter freestyle: 1. Danila Izotov, Russia 1:46.93, 2. Myles Brown, South Africa 1:47.80, 3. Nikita Lobintsev, Russia 1:47.83.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Cameron Van Der Burgh, South Africa 59.27, 2. Nic Fink, USA 59.52, 3. Cody Miller, USA 1:00.07; FLORIDA: 10. Jorge Murillo, Colombia 1:01.71.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Tom Shields, USA 51.36, 2. Chad Le Clos, South Africa 51.45, 3. Tim Phillips, USA 51.75; FLORIDA: 16. Pavel Sankovich, Poland/Florida State 53.69.

50-meter backstroke: 1. Camille Lacourt, France 24.67, 2. Zheng Wen Quah, Singapore 25.13, 3. Grigory Tarasevich, Russia 25.14; FLORIDA: 4. Pavel Sankovich, Poland/Florida State 25.28.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Philip Heintz, Germany 1:58.46, 2. Chase Kalisz, USA 1:59.40, 3. Hiromasa Fujimori, Japan 1:59.57.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Josh Schneider, USA 21.80, 2. Evgeny Sedov, Club 20 21.84, 3. Andrii Govorov, Ukraine 22.10.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Ashley Delaney, Australia 1:58.41, 2. Shun Wang, China 1:58.68, 3. Benjamin Stasiulis, France 1:59.20.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Gregorio Paltrinieri, Italy 14:55.06, 2. Joris Bouchaut, France 15:09.21, 3. Evgeny Drobotov, Russia 15:49.22.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

OLYMPIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 13: South African Swimmer Admits To Using Illegal Dolphin Kick

OLYMPIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 13: South African Swimmer Admits To Using Illegal Dolphin Kick


August 6, 2012

In a stunning admission, Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa told the Sydney Morning Herald that he used a series of illegal dolphin kicks at the start of the men’s 100-meter breaststroke final which he won.

Van der Burgh said he robbed Aussie breaststroker Christian Sprenger of the gold medal.

“It’s got to the sort of point where if you’re not doing it, you’re falling behind or you’re giving yourself a disadvantage so everyone’s pushing the rules and pushing the boundaries, so if you’re not doing it, you’re not trying hard enough,” van der Burgh told the Herald.

He also said that “99 percent” of the swimmers are taking advantage of the rule allowing dolphin kicks by adding more at the start or implementing them where not allowed.

Video clips have also surfaced to support his claim.

“I’m not willing to sacrifice my personal performance and four years of hard work for someone that is willing to do it and get away with it,” he said.

Van der Burgh won the 100-meter breaststroke in a world record 58.46, one of nine world records set during the swimming in textile suits.

Van der Burgh said the cheating would stop if FINA, the sport’s international governing body, would introduce a system to allow for underwater video judging. Rules do not allow swimmers to use the dolphin kick in the breaststroke except for one dolphin kick each during the underwater pull at the start and after the turn.

Several other swimmers in the prelims and semifinals used illegal dolphin kicks according to van der Burgh.

Swimming notes

The White House announced on Monday that President Barack Obama supports a measure that would exempt U.S. Olympians from having to pay taxes on their Olympic medals. Press secretary Jay Carney said Obama would do everything to support our athletes including signing into law legislation introduced by Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Rubio wants Americans who win medals to keep all of the prizes the U.S. Olympic Committee awards to winners. Olympians who earn gold medals receive $25,000, silver winners get $15,000 and bronze winners earn $10,000…

Ryan Lochte is taking in the sights and sounds of the Olympic Games. On Monday he took in the U.S. men’s basketball game with teammate Conor Dwyer and rapper Ludacris…The media is still following Michael Phelps, this time his personal life. Phelps and his girlfriend of five months, Megan Rossee, were spotted on the red carpet at the Speedo party this past weekend. Rossee, a 25-year-old model based in Los Angeles, accompanied Phelps to both the U.S. trials and Olympic Games.


American Troy Dumais qualified third and Brandon’s Chris Colwill was in seventh place after the preliminary round of six dives in the men’s 3-meter springboard diving at the Aquatic Centre.

Russia’s Ilya Zakharov was top qualifier with 507.65 followed by China’s He Chong with 500.90.

Dumais, who has never finished higher than sixth in the individual event, had 486.60 and Colwill had 461.35. Canadian Alexandre Despatie, who is coming back from a bad diving accident where he hit his head on the board last month, finished ninth with 458.55.

It was less than a perfect opener. Two divers scored all zeroes while two others got low scores for badly executing their dives. Even China diver Qin Kai, the leader after four rounds, dropped to 11th when he missed his forward 4 ½ somersaults tuck worth 3.8 degree of difficulty. He just missed landing on his stomach.

Stephen Feck of Germany landed on his back in the third round and withdrew after feeling faint. Britain’s Jack Laugher slipped off the board and missed his dive. Both earned all zeroes.

The top 18 advance into the semifinals on Tuesday.

Water Polo

At the end of preliminary round play, Croatia and Serbia are the only undefeated teams going into the quarterfinals. Croatia has five wins and Serbia has four wins and one tie.

Croatia will play the U.S. men’s team, the fourth ranked team in its group, in the first game of the quarterfinal round on Wednesday. Serbia will play Australia in another quarterfinal game. In its final group game, the U.S. lost to three-time defending champion Hungary, 11-6, and Serbia trounced Romania, 12-4.

“Serbia and Hungary are two of the best teams in the world and they made us look pretty bad in there, so we are going to have to go home and regroup and get ready for quarterfinals because that’s the only game that really matters,” said Ryan Bailey, a member of the Beijing Olympics silver medal team.

Synchronized swimming

The U.S. duet team of Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva advanced into the diet final on Monday. The team, making their Olympic debut, scored 88.270 points to finish 11th in the free routine and moved into tenth in the overall standings with 176.170 points. The duo scored 87.900 points in Sunday’s technical routine. The top 12 teams advance into Tuesday’s free final. Russia’s Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina are top qualifiers with 196.800 points.

In the aquatics medals table, the U.S. continues to lead with 33 medals (16 gold, 9 silver, 8 bronze) and China is second with 16 (10 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze).

Sharon Robb can be reached at