Aussies Dominate; Dylan Carter Qualifies For Sprint Butterfly Final On Day One Of Commonwealth Games

By Sharon Robb
BIRMINGHAM, England—Reigning world champion Elijah Winnington led an Australian sweep in the 400 freestyle on opening day of the Commonwealth Games Friday at Sandwell Aquatic Center.

Winnington, 22, led from start to finish to win the 400-meter distance event in 3:43.06, slower than his world championship time and lifetime-best of 3:41.22. Aussie teammates Sam Short was second in 3:45.07 and Mack Horton was third in 3:46.49.

In other final events:
Canadian teenager Summer McIntosh, 15, broke her own Games and national record to win the 400-meter individual medley in 4:29.01. Her previous best time was 4:29.12.

Aussie Ariarne Titmus won the 200-meter freestyle in a Games record 1:53.89. It was another Aussie sweep with Mollie O’Callaghan (1:54.01) and Madi Wilson (1:56.17).

In an exciting men’s 200-meter breaststroke final, Aussie Olympic champion and world record holder Zac Stubblety-Cook overtook early leader Brit James Wilby down the stretch for the gold, 2:08.07-2:08.59.

Australia (William Yang, Kyle Chalmers, Mollie O’Callaghan, Emma McKeon) finished with a gold in the first-ever 4×100-meter mixed freestyle relay in 3:21.18 ahead of England in 3:22.45 and Canada in 3:24.86.

Two-time Olympian and national record holder Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago, a Plantation American Heritage alum, was top local finisher qualifying for the final in the 50-meter butterfly. Carter qualified third fastest in semis in 23.41 behind Brit Ben Proud in 23.06 and Singapore’s Tzen Wei Teong. Carter went 23.59 in his opening heat.

Other Florida Gold Coast/South Florida swimmers results:
50 butterfly: Sidrell Williams, Jamaica, Azura, eighth in heat, 25.32.
200 breaststroke: Kito Campbell, Jamaica, Azura, sixth in heat, 2:29.95.

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

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Five South Florida, Florida Gold Coast Swimmers Will Compete At Commonwealth Games

By Sharon Robb
BIRMINGHAM, England, July 26, 2022–Five swimmers with South Florida and Florida Gold Coast connections will compete in the XXII Commonwealth Games at Sandwell Aquatic Center.

The meet begins Friday and ends Wednesday, August 3.

Azura Florida Aquatics is sending three swimmers: St. Andrew’s School alum Sidrell Williams of Jamaica, Kito Campbell of Jamaica and Jayhan Odlum-Smith of St. Lucia.

Two-time Olympian Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Plantation American Heritage alum and St. Andrew’s School alum and Florida State’s Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas will also compete.

Seven reigning world champions will compete including Ben Proud, Elijah Winnington, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Mollie O’Callaghan, Kylie Masse, Kaylee McKeown and Summer McIntosh.

Other notables competing are Adam Peaty, Ariarne Titmus, Emma McKeon, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Duncan Scott and Maggie MacNeil.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place at Alexander Stadium on Thursday with all 72 countries within the Commonwealth. While the Closing Ceremony is scheduled to take place on 8 August 2022, with all 72 countries returning to Alexander Stadium.

Commonwealth Games Federation’s Executive Board has included 3 new sports namely Women’s T20 cricket, beach volleyball, and Para table tennis for the 2022 edition of the Commonwealth Games.

ESPN, BBC and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will live stream the events on their platforms. Prelims are 10:30 a.m. local time (5:30 a.m. EST) and finals 7 p.m. (2 p.m. EST).

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson Misses Shot At Another Medal In Two Events, Her Commonwealth Games Come To And End

By Sharon Robb

April 8, 2018—-Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson had a rough day at the XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia on Sunday.

After settling for a silver medal in the 50-meter breaststroke, she finished eighth in the 50-meter butterfly in 27.35 seconds at Optus Aquatic Centre.

Aussie Cate Campbell was impressive with the win in 25.59. The Aussies swept the top three spots. Holly Barratt was second in 25.67 and Madeline Groves was third in 25.69.

Less than an hour earlier, Atkinson finished seventh in the 100-meter breaststroke, her signature event in 1:09.83 in the semifinals, failing to make the final. South African Tatjana Schoenmaker was top qualifier in 1:06.65.

It was her final two events of the Commonwealth Games where she took home only one silver medal.

Canadian Kylie Masse won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:05.98 ahead of teammate Taylor Ruck in 2:06.42 and Aussie Emily Seebohm in 2:06.82.

Duncan Scott of Scotland won the 100-meter freestyle in 48.02. Chad Le Clos of South Africa and Aussie Kyle Chambers tied for second in 48.15.

England’s Siobhan-Marie O’Connor won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:09.80. Canadian Sarah Darcel was second in 2:11.14 just edging out teammate Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson was third in 2:11.74.

In an exciting 50-meter backstroke final, Aussie Mitch Larkin outsprinted teammate Ben Treffers, 24.68-24.84. Zac Incerti completed the Aussie sweep in 25.06.

Australia remained undefeated in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay final in a Games record of 7:05.97. Relay members were Alexander Graham, Kyle Chalmers, Elijah Winnington and Mack Horton. They are 4-for-4 in relays.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Atkinson Will Try Again For First Gold On Sunday At XXI Commonwealth Games

By Sharon Robb

April 7, 2018—Alia Atkinson has another shot at a gold medal Sunday at the XXI Commonwealth Games at newly-renovated Optus Aquatic Centre in Gold Coast Australia.

Atkinson, who took silver in the 50-meter breaststroke earlier in the week, qualified seventh for the 50-meter butterfly final in a lifetime best 26.84.

Australia took the top three qualifying spots with Madeline Groves, 25.54; Cate Campbell, 25.56; and Holly Barratt, 25.88.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer and four-time Jamaican Olympian will also compete in Sunday’s 100-meter breaststroke prelims, her third and final event and signature event.

In Day Four finals:

South African Chad Le Clos won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:54.00. He led from start to finish to break the Commonwealth Games record and win by nearly two seconds over Aussie David Morgan in 1:56.36.

Aussie Cate Campbell broke her own Commonwealth Games record in the 50-meter freestyle final in 23.78. It is her first international meet since her post-Olympic hiatus. Aussie Bronte Campbell and Taylor Ruck of Canada tied for the silver medal in 24.26.

England’s Adam Peaty won the 100-meter breaststroke in 58.84, just off his Games record. He did complete a four-year unbeaten run in the event since Glasgow in 2014. Brit teammate James Wilby was second in 59.43 and South African Cameron van der Burgh was third in 59.44.

Canadian Kylie Masse won the 100-meter backstroke in 58.63. Aussie Emily Seebohm was second in 58.66 and Ruck was third in 58.97.

South African Tatjana Schoenmaker won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:22.02. England’s Molly Renshaw was second in 2:23.28 and Chloe Tutton of Wales was third in 2:23.42.

Through April 15, more than 70 nations will compete. The Commonwealth Games have been held since 1930, open only to athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations, including countries such as Australia, Canada, India and United Kingdom.

While there are only 52 countries in the Commonwealth of Nations, 70 countries compete in the Commonwealth Games.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Takes Silver At Commonwealth Games

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Takes Silver At Commonwealth Games

By Sharon Robb

July 25, 2014—The gold medal slipped away from Alia Atkinson in the final 15 meters at Tollcross Swimming Centre Friday at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

The three-time Jamaican Olympian and South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer was sitting pretty to win her first gold medal in her third Commonwealth Games appearance after breaking meet and national records and moving up to third in the world rankings in the 50-meter breaststroke after the semifinals.

But defending champion Leiston Pickett of Australia came along and played spoiler, winning the sprint breaststroke event by 8/100ths of a second ahead of Atkinson.

Pickett won in 30.59 and Atkinson was second in 30.67. Atkinson won the first silver medal by a Jamaican swimmer at the Commonwealth Games. The last Jamaican to win a medal at the Games was Janelle Atkinson in 2002 with two bronze medals in the 400- and 800-meter freestyles in Manchester, England.

Atkinson and her SOFLO coach Chris Anderson had hopes of not only winning the gold medal but breaking the 30-second barrier and flirting with the world record of 29.48 in finals.

Atkinson went out fast early in the race after a great start. She looked to be in control until the final 15 meters when Pickett surged ahead and just out-touched her.

It was Jamaica’s first medal in any sport at the Games. Despite not winning gold, Atkinson was still pleased.

“I am ecstatic, even though when I look back I wanted to win the gold medal,” Atkinson said. “Any of the times in my other races would have won this race.”

Atkinson has two more chances at gold in the 100-meter breaststroke, her signature event, and 200-meter breaststroke. The heats and final for the 200-meter breaststroke are Saturday and heats and semifinal of the 100-meter breaststroke on Sunday.

In other championship finals, powerhouse Australia dominated the gold medal stand on Day Two of the meet. The Aussies won four gold medals.

Men’s 50-meter butterfly: British teenager Benjamin Proud, 19, outsprinted an experienced field to win England’s first swimming gold medal with a Commonwealth Games and national record of 22.93, the fastest time in the world this year. South Africa took the silver and bronze medals. Roland Schoeman, 34, was second in 23.13 to win his fourth consecutive medal at the Games. 200 butterfly Olympic champion Chad Le Clos was third in 23.36. “I am beyond excited,” Proud said. “Tears almost came into my eyes. I was just trying to make it feel like a normal race, not the Commonwealths.”

Florida alum Brett Fraser of the Cayman Islands was fifth in 23.66.

Bolles’ Joseph Schooling of Singapore finished seventh in 23.96. His 23.43 prelims time places him 13th in the 2014 world rankings and also tied for the Asian record. Schooling and his teammates are being coached by Bolles head coach Sergio Lopez.

Men’s 200-meter freestyle: Aussie Thomas Fraser-Holmes overtook early leader and teammate Cameron McEvoy to win in 1:45.08, the fastest time in the world this year. McEvoy took silver in 1:45.56. Calum Jarvis of Wales took the bronze in 1:46.53. Defending champion Robbie Renwick of Scotland was fifth in 1:46.79.

Men’s 400-meter individual medley: Scotland’s Dan Wallace of University of Florida won his country’s third gold medal in swimming by coming from behind and overtaking early leader Sebastien Rousseau of South Africa to win in 4:11.20. Aussie Thomas Fraser-Holmes was second in 4:12.04 and Rousseau faded to third in 4:13.09.

Men’s 100-meter backstroke: Brit Chris Walker-Hebborn broke the meet record and won in 53.12. Aussie Mitch Larkin won silver in 53.59 and Brit Liam Tancock and Aussie Josh Beaver tied for the bronze in 53.75.

Women’s 100-meter butterfly: Canadian Katerine Savard caught early leader Siobhan O’Connor of England to win in a meet record 57.40. O’Connor settled for the silver medal in 57.45 and Aussie Emma McKeon took the bronze in 57.66.

Men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay: Australia held off South Africa to win in a meet record 3:13.44 with Tommaso D’Orsogna, Matt Abood, James Magnussen and Cameron McEvoy. South Africa was second in 3:15.17 and England was third in 3:16.37.

In the semifinals, Bahamian and Bolles alum Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace earned the third seed in the 50-meter freestyle in 24.42, sixth fastest time in the world this year.

Canadian Sinead Russell of the University of Florida is the third seed in the 100-meter backstroke in 59.91.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Breaks Commonwealth Games, National Records, Goes For Gold On Friday

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Breaks Commonwealth Games, National Records, Goes For Gold On Friday

By Sharon Robb

July 24, 2014—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson opened the 20th Commonwealth Games in grand style Thursday at the Tollcross Swimming Centre in Glasgow, Scotland.

In her first morning prelim swim, the three-time Jamaican Olympian broke the Commonwealth Games record in the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.49 seconds and came back in the semifinals to break it again in 30.17.

It was her fastest long course time bettering her previous time of 30.91 and breaking her own Jamaican national record. At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India she swam 32.48.

In the semifinals Thursday night, Atkinson, 25, swimming in Lane 4, had a great start and pulled away for a half-body length midway through the race, to win the second semifinal heat in a Games record in 30.17.

Atkinson was intimidating before she even stepped on the blocks looking like Darth Vadar wearing all black Speedo cap, warmup and racing suit. Her nails were painted in Jamaican green and gold colors. Defending champion Leiston Pickett won the first semifinal heat in 30.64.

Australia broke the first world record of the Games in the women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay in the final event of the night.

Australia, under world record pace early in the race and again on the final leg, broke the world record in 3:30.98. The gold-medal winning relay was sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell, Emma McKeon and Mel Schlanger. Cate Campbell swam an anchor leg split of 52.16.

The Aussies took nearly a second off the world record set by the Netherlands five years ago in 3:31.72. England took silver in 3:35.72 and Canada took bronze in 3:40.00. Singapore was seventh in 3:49.69.

Several of Alia Atkinson’s Jamaican teammates also competed on opening day of the swimming competition. Zara Bailey was seventh in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:04.25. She was sixth in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:59.

Jamaican Timothy Wynter, who is also training with SOFLO and national team head coach Chris Anderson, was seventh in the 50-meter butterfly in 25.79. Dominic Walter was seventh in the 500-meter freestyle in 4:09.53.

Atkinson, making her third appearance (2006, 2010) at the Commonwealth Games, will attempt to make history on Friday by becoming the first Jamaican swimmer to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in the final at 1:05 p.m. (EST). Atkinson also has a shot at cracking 30 seconds in the event.

The last time Jamaica won a medal in swimming at the Commonwealth Games was when Janelle Atkinson won two bronze medals in the 400- and 800-meter freestyles in 2002.

Team Singapore, coached by Bolles head coach Sergio Lopez had six swims Thursday night.

Joseph Schooling tied the Asian record during morning prelims of the 50-meter butterfly in 23.43. It was the second fastest time of the morning. Swimming in Lane 4 in the semifinals, Schooling was third in his heat in 23.48.

Z. W. Quah wass seventh in 100-meter backstroke semifinals in 56.43. Tao Li went 59.22 in the women’s 100-meter butterfly, T.W. Quah went 1:01.90 in the women’s 100-meter butterfly and women’s relay was seventh.

In championship final races:

Women’s 400-meter individual medley: Scotland’s Hannah Miley made her country proud by winning the first gold medal at the Games in 4:31.76, defending her title. Brit Aimee Willmott, 21, who flirted with the world record and gold medal, took silver in 4:33.01 and Aussie Keryn McMaster took the bronze in 4:36.35, her first medal at the Games. Miley is only the fourth swimmer to win a gold medal in Scotland in swimming.

Men’s 400-meter freestyle: Canadian Ryan Cochrane came from behind in the final 50 meters with a 27.2 split to overtake early leader Aussie David McKeon, who was under world record pace for the first 200 meters. Cochrane defended his title to win gold in 3:43.46 to win Canada’s first gold medal of the Games. McKeon was second in 3:44.09 and Brit James Guy, an 18-year-old emerging star, was third in 3:44.58.

Women’s 200-meter freestyle: In an exciting neck-and-neck race, Aussie Emma McKeon won in a Games record 1:55.57, her second of the day. McKeon’s older brother David just missed gold in the 400 freestyle. Brit Siobhan O’Connor, 18, was second in 1:55.82 and Aussie Bronte Barratt was third in 1:56.62.

Men’s 200-meter breaststroke: Scotland finished 1-2 with Ross Murdoch winning in 2:07.30, his second Games record, and his more-experienced teammate Michael Jamieson taking silver in 2:08.40. Brit Andrew Willis was third in 2:09.87.

A Royal Air Force SAC bagpiper escorted medalists to the awards ceremony. Instead of flowers and stuffed animal, swimmers were presented a Scottish drinking cup during the medals ceremony.

Queen Elizabeth visited with swimmers during morning prelims and even inadvertently photo bombed a pair of Aussie hockey athletes’ selfie.

The official YouTube channel for the Commonwealth Games is offering a globally-available live stream that is airing events in their entirety. The link is being updated daily by meet organizers. The Commonwealth Games official website is immediately posting medal winners’ portraits, times and full results after each race.


*Three-time South African Olympian Darian Townsend became a U.S. citizen on Thursday and plans to compete in the U.S. nationals next month. He is a former world record holder in the 200-meter individual medley short course, gold medalist in the 400-meter freestyle relay and eight-time NCAA champion.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Begins Gold Medal Hunt Thursday At Commonwealth Games

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Begins Gold Medal Hunt Thursday At Commonwealth Games

By Sharon Robb

July 22—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson is ready to make history at the 20th Commonwealth Games.

The three-time Olympian for Jamaica begins her bid for medal glory when the Games get under way Wednesday with the Opening Ceremonies at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland

Diving is the opening aquatic event. Swimming begins on Thursday and runs through July 29 at Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

Under the watchful eye of her longtime club coach, SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson, who is serving as the Jamaica team coach, Atkinson will attempt to win her country’s first gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

“She has three chances at it,” said Anderson, who wrapped up a week-long training camp in Corby, England and arrived in Scotland on Monday with the team.

Atkinson will compete in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events. Her first race is the 50-meter breaststroke on Thursday with the heat and semifinal rounds and final on Friday.

Atkinson, 25, is the first Jamaican to medal at a major international tournament taking a silver in the 50-meter breaststroke at the FINA World Short Course Championships.

“I’m excited that the 200-meter is back, so I am definitely looking forward to trying to medal in the 50, 100 and 200,” Atkinson said. “I just need to get that 100 down and work that second 50.

“I don’t get to compete against Australia and the UK a lot so I am excited for that,” Atkinson said. “Plus, I only have half the world to worry about at the Commonwealth Games.”

At the 2012 London Olympics, Atkinson just missed a medal finishing fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke. Since then she has had a meteoric rise worldwide doing well on both the FINA World Cup and USA Grand Prix series. She also recently signed with Speedo, which is a major sponsor of the Commonwealth Games.

Atkinson is in the best shape of her life. At the USA Grand Prix Mesa, she won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:25.52, breaking her own national record of 2:28.34 set in February.

“I know it’s been a long time for her 200 to click,” Anderson said. “She is really beginning to understand the patience of the race. That put her in the world rankings, it was a world-class race.

“She is starting to emerge as the best 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke swimmer in the world. She’s getting there.”

Atkinson will be joined by Jevon Atkinson, who came out of retirement to represent Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games. Atkinson (no relation to Alia) trained with Anderson from 2004-2008 and qualified for the 2008 Olympics.

Other Jamaican swimmers are Zara Bailey, Trudi Ann Patrick, Dominic Walter and Timothy Wynter, a rising star in Jamaica who is training with Anderson at SOFLO.

The last Jamaican female swimmer to medal at the Commonwealth Games was two-time Olympian Janelle Atkinson-Wignall (no relation to Alia Atkinson) in 2002 when she took bronze medals in the 400- and 800-meter freestyles. On Monday, Atkinson-Wignall was named head coach at Fairfield University becoming the program’s first-ever woman coach.

Also at the Commonwealth Games, Bolles coach Sergio Lopez will coach the Singapore team including Bolles swimmer Joseph Schooling.

Dylan Carter and George Bovell will represent Trinidad and Tobago.

Carter, 18, is making his Commonwealth Games debut. Carter, a sophomore at University of Southern California, used to train in South Florida with the now-defunct Davie Nadadores and attended Plantation American Heritage.

Bovell, a four-time Olympian, is a 2002 Bolles alum.

Other swimmers with Florida ties:

BAHAMAS: Mckayla Lightbourn, Sarasota and Florida State; Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Bolles alum.

BARBADOS: Lani Cabrera, Miami, Florida Gulf Coast alum, former Davie Nadadores.

CANADA: Sinead Russell, University of Florida.

CAYMAN ISLANDS: Brett Fraser, Florida Alum.

The Commonwealth Games are held every four years (July 23-August 3). The International, multi-sport event is for 4,500 athletes from 70 participating Commonwealth nations competing in 21 different disciplines.

Swimming power Australia is bringing most of its best swimmers. Canada, South Africa and Great Britain will also be strong.

It is the third largest multi-sport event in the world after the Olympics and Asian Games and third time Scotland has hosted the Games (1970, 1986).

The U.S. will not be televising or live streaming the major meet. However, Canada CBC will live stream it on its website and BBC is televising as well along with radio coverage.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Atkinson, Anderson Open Camp; Jamaica’s Timothy Wynter Will Train With SOFLO

SOFLO’s Atkinson, Anderson Open Camp; Jamaica’s Timothy Wynter Will Train With SOFLO

By Sharon Robb

July 16, 2014—In preparation for the July 23-August 3 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, the Jamaican national team has settled into training camp in Corby, England.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s three-time Olympian Alia Atkinson leads the six-swimmer contingent that is currently training at the Corby East Midlands International Pool, just 200 miles south of the Scottish border in the heart of England.

Alia Atkinson is joined on the team roster by Jevon Atkinson (no relation), Zara Bailey, Trudi Ann Patrick, Dominic Walter and Timothy Wynter.

Jevon Atkinson came out of retirement to represent his country in Scotland. Diver Yona Knight-Wisdom will also represent Jamaica at the Games. It is the first time Jamaica will be represented in diving.

Sarasota YMCA teenagers Michelle and Keanan Dols were also named to the Jamaican national team for the Games but will not be attending the Commonwealth Games.

Three of SOFLO’s top age group swimmers, Jordon Colon, Star Fassler and Olivia Katcher also made the trip and is training with the international team.

SOFLO coach Chris Anderson and Atkinson have trained at the facility before in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics.

The Jamaica Commonwealth team and staff are being treated like royalty.

The city’s Mayor, Anthony Dady, met with the team and sixteen local school children also visited for autographs and question-and-answer session about the importance of education and the Commonwealth competition.

Two local radio stations also interviewed Anderson, Alia Atkinson and Jevon Atkinson, who trained with SOFLO (formerly Comets Swim Team) from 2004 to 2008 and qualified for the 2008 Olympics.

SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson is serving as head coach of the Jamaican team during the camp and Commonwealth Games.

“We made it,” Anderson said. “Our training trip is growing better than expected. We had a solid post-travel washout and very good morning workout gym session and then power and speed workout at night. I am excited to see how it goes.”

In other SOFLO news:

One of Jamaica’s top swimmers Timothy Wynter will be training with the South Florida Aquatic Club at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

Wynter, 18, has three national records in the 50-meter backstroke, 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter backstroke and four short course records in the 50- and 100 backstroke and 50- and 100-meter butterfly.

Wynter competed in the Short Course World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey at age 16.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Adlington Breaks 14-Year-Old Record At Commonwealth Games, Aussies Continue To Rule

Adlington Breaks 14-Year-Old Record At Commonwealth Games, Aussies Continue To Rule


October 8, 2010

Reigning Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington of England broke the 14-year-old meet record in the 400-meter freestyle Friday at the 19th Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.

Adlington won her second event of the Games in 4:05.68, breaking the previous mark of 4:07.68 set in 1986 by England’s Sarah Hardcastle.

Adlington,  ranked second in the world in a career-best 4:04.55, was one of the few bright spots for England as Australia continued its domination in the pool.

Australia’s Kylie Palmer took silver in 4:07.85 and Wales’ Jazmin Carlin grabbed bronze in 4:08.22.

In other Friday championship events at the Dr. S.P. Mukherjee Aquatics Complex in Talkatore Gardens:

Aussie Olympic gold medalist Leisel Jones became the first woman to win the 100 and 200 breaststroke events in three consecutive Commonwealth Games when she won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:05.84.

Jones is ranked second in the world in the event in 1:05.66.

Aussie teammate Samantha Marshall took silver in 1:07.97 and England’s Kate Haywood took bronze in 1:08.29.

In the women’s 50-meter freestyle, Aussie Yolane Kukla became only the second 15-year-old to win a gold medal at the Games. Ian Thorpe was the first.

Kukla won the event in 24.86, just off her career-best of 24.74. England’s Fran Halsall, coming back from Delhi Belly, took silver in 24.98 and New Zealand’s Hayley Palmer took bronze in 25.01.

The Aussies continued their domination in the women’s 200-meter backstroke final with Meagan Nay winning gold in a meet record 2:07.56 and moving into third place in the world rankings.

It was an emotional victory for Nay whose brother Amos was killed in a car accident last year. Her father, Robert, a 1972 Olympian, had also died in a car accident when she was 4.

“I knew that my dad and my brother were definitely pushing me through that,” Nay said. “This is a dream come true. It’s kind of proof that you can come out the other side.”

England’s Elizabeth Simmonds took silver in 2:07.90 and Aussie Emily Seebohm took bronze in 2:08.38.

Aussie world record holder Sophie Edington won the 50-meter backstroke in a meet record 28.00, breaking Seebohm’s record of 28.03 she set in Thursday’s semifinals. England’s Gemma Spofforth took silver in 28.03. Seebohm and Wales’ Georgia Davies tied for the bronze medal in 28.33.

Australia won the 400-yard freestyle relay in a meet record 3:36.36 with Alicia Coutts, Marieke Guehrer, Felicity Galvez and Seebohm. Canada lost the silver when it was disqualified for early takeoff. England moved into second and New Zealand was third.

Coutts now has four gold medals and Seebohm two golds, two silvers and two bronzes.

The Australian men won their share of gold as well.

Aussie Geoff Huegill won his third 100-meter butterfly Commonwealth Games gold medal, breaking his own meet record and completing an amazing comeback that began more than a year ago when he battled depression and weight problems.

Huegill, 31, won in a career-best 51.69, lowering his meet record of 52.36. It is the second fastest time this year behind Michael Phelps and was his sixth gold medal of his career.

Olympian Ryan Pini of Papua New Guinea and Antony James of England tied for the silver medal in 52.50. Aussie Christopher Wright and Jason Dunford tied for fourth in 52.66.

World record holder Cameron Van der Burgh of South Africa swam a world best time of 27.18 to win the 50-meter breaststroke. Aussie’s Brenton Rickard and New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders tied for the silver medal in 27.67.

In the men’s 100-meter backstroke, England’s Liam Tancock defended his title in a meet record 53.59 to win his second gold medal of the Games. He also won the 50 backstroke.

New Zealand’s Daniel Bell took silver in 54.43 and Aussie Ashley Delaney took bronze in 54.51. Delany won bronze medals in all three backstroke events.

James Goddard of England became the first swimmer to dip under 2 minutes in the 200-meter individual medley in a meet record 1:58.10. Teammate Joseph Roebuck was second in 1:59.86 and Aussie Leith Brodie was third in 2:00.00.

In other Commonwealth Games news, federation chief Mike Fennell said after extensive testing on all three swimming pools being used during the Games show no problems with water quality. Tests were conducted at the village, practice and competition pools. Doctors said the illness may have been caused by “a number of things.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Atkinson Finishes 11th In Final Event, Aussies Dominate Commonwealth Games On Day 4

SOFLO’s Atkinson Finishes 11th In Final Event, Aussies Dominate Commonwealth Games On Day 4


October 7, 2010

Alia Atkinson of the South Florida Aquatic Club ended her second career appearance at the Commonwealth Games on Thursday in Delhi, India.

The two-time Olympian representing Jamaica finished 11th in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:11.28 at the Dr. S.P. Mukherjee Aquatics Complex in Talkatora Gardens. Her prelim time was  1:11.47. The top qualifying time was 1:07.73 by Aussie Leisel Jones.

Atkinson, 21, competed in four events. Her best finish was eighth in the 50-meter breaststroke where she broke her national record twice (32.24 and 32.13). It was her first championship final in a major international swim meet.

She was also tenth in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:34.32 and 12th in the 200-meter individual medley (2:24.39).

In Thursday’s championship finals:

Aussie Alicia Coutts won her third gold medal of the Games. Despite an ailing shoulder, the 23-year-old won the 100-meter butterfly in 57.53. She also won gold in the 200-meter individual medley and 100-meter freestyle. England’s Ellen Gandy took silver in 58.06 and Olympian Jemma Lowe of Wales and University of Florida took bronze in 58.42.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Coutts said. “I didn’t think I would get one gold let alone three. I’m stoked.”

Rebecca Adlington of England, shook off a case of Delhi Belly to win the 800-meter freestyle in 8:24.69. Adlington came close to breaking the oldest meet record that was set in 1978.

Adlington, 21, the world record holder and double Olympic champion, had stomach problems before the race. She looked strong early in the race but seemed to tire in the late stages.

“I just wanted to get out there and swim my own race,” Adlington said. “It’s not about the times here at all with all the stuff that is going on and everybody is a bit slow. I am so pleased with this win. I wasn’t feeling that good. It’s been a long season so it’s nice to finish off with a gold.”

South Africa’s Wendy Trott was second in the 800 in 8:26.96 and Aussie Melissa Gorman was third in 8:32.37.

Teenager Chad Le Clos, 18, of South Africa won his second gold in the men’s 400-meter individual medley in a meet record 4:13.25. He is the first South African to win the event in Games history. He also won the 200-meter butterfly earlier in the week.

“What an amazing experience,” Le Clos said. “I have been wanting to produce a personal best for a year now and to do it here at the Commonwealth Games makes me really happy.”

England’s Joseph Roebuck took silver in 4:15.84 and South African Riaan Schoeman took bronze in 4:16.86.

Canadian Brent Hayden broke his own meet record in the 100-meter freestyle he set in the heats by 0.20 seconds to 47.98. The 2007 world champion is the first swimmer in the world this year in a textile suit to break 48 seconds. It was also his first gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. Canada has only five medals at the Games.

England’s Simon Burnett took silver in 48.54 and Aussie Eamon Sullivan took bronze in 48.69

Tonga’s lone swimmer, Amini Fonua, qualified in the seventh spot for the finals of the men’s 50-meter breaststroke. The Texas A&M junior is Tonga’s first Commonwealth Games swimmer since 1946.

In other Games news, concerns over the water quality in the warm-up pool was raised since more than 50 swimmers have been stricken ill since the opening of the Games.

Adlington was one of the swimmers from England and Australia who complained of illness. Aussie Andrew Lauterstein, a medal favorite in the 100-meter butterfly, was forced to withdraw from the heats after missing the 50-meter butterfly final with stomach problems. Teammate Hayden Stoeckel also dropped out of the 100-meter backstroke for the same reason.

Commonwealth Games chief Mike Fennell asked for an immediate inquiry over the water quality concerns. The problem seems to be isolated to swimming since no other athletes at the Games have been affected. Also the toilets at the aquatic center have not been functioning properly because of the lack of water supply which may be adding to the problem.

“If the water is unsafe then clearly you can’t swim in it,” Fennell told reporters. “We have ensured the water and food quality is tested. We are concerned if athletes can’t perform to their best.”

 Sharon Robb can be reached at