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 sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Atkinson Wins Gold, Joins 1:05 Club, Breaks National Record On Day One At FINA/Airweave World Cup Series In Dubai


By Sharon Robb

November 6, 2015—Three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club saved her best for last.

The 26-year-old Atkinson won the 100-meter breaststroke in a Jamaican national record and joined the 1:05 Club in 1:05.93 on opening night of the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series in Dubai, the final stop on the series.

It was the first time Atkinson cracked 1:06 in her pro career. Atkinson moves up to second in the world rankings. Her 50 split tied her season’s best and is a world-leading time.

Seeded first after prelims, Atkinson was the only breaststroker to crack 1:06 in the final. Her previous national mark was 1:06.21 she swam at the World Championship semifinals this past summer.

American Molly Hannis was second in 1:06.60. Turkey’s Viktoria Gunes, the second seed making her World Cup debut, was third in 1:06.96.

Atkinson, who missed gold medals in her last two 100 breaststroke races in Tokyo and Doha, attacked the race off the blocks. She went out in 30.55 and finished in 35.38. Her 1:05.93 was the 16th fastest performance of all time.

Another Florida Gold Coast swimmer, Marta Ciesla, 17, of Pine Crest Swimming, competing against a world-class field in only her second international meet, finished second in the 50-meter freestyle to take home a silver medal in 25.31. It is the fastest time in the world for an 18-and-under swimmer.

Ciesla was seeded fifth (25.07) in the 50-meter freestyle. She also competed in Doha where she finished sixth in her international debut.

Ciesla is representing the U.S. as a member of USA Swimming’s 14-member 18-and-under squad. The junior defending state champion for Pine Crest, decided not to compete in Friday’s FHSAA State 1A Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday to represent her country.

In other championship finals:

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu broke the national record in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:55.41. She shaved 4/10ths of a second off her previous record. It is the fifth fastest time this year.

Frenchman Jeremy Stravius overtook early leader Chad le Clos of South Africa to win the 100-meter freestyle in 48.34, 1/100th of a second ahead of Le Clos. Both times were under this year’s top time of 48.55.

South African Cameron van der Burgh won the 50-meter breaststroke in 26.77 ahead of Brit Adam Peaty in 27.16.

American Felicia Lee won the 100-meter butterfly in 58.57.

Aussie Mitch Larkin lowered his own national and Commonwealth record in the 100-meter backstroke winning in 52.11, fastest time in the world this year, topping Bolles alum Ryan Murphy’s 52.18.

Emily Seebohm of Australia won the 50-meter backstroke in 27.49. Hosszu was second in 27.99, another of her national records (28.16).

Denmark’s Viktor Bromer won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:55.98, overtaking early leader Quah Zheng Wen of Singapore and Le Clos.

Hosszu continued to pile up the medals and cash winning the 200-meter individual medley in 2:08.61.

Great Britain’s James Guy won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:46.91.

Aussie Melanie Wright won the 50-meter freestyle in 24.72, third in the world this year.

Hungarian Daniel Gyurta won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:10.43.

Seebohm overtook Hosszu in the final 50 meters to win the 200-meter backstroke in 2:06.94. Hosszu finished in 2:07.13.

Le Clos won his first gold of the day in the 50-meter butterfly in a season-best 23.31.

Lauren Boyle of New Zealand won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:25.96.

Hungarian David Verraszto won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:16.71.

Dubai is hosting the World Cup for the fifth time. The field features 440 international swimmers and 350 club swimmers from 56 nations according to host officials.

Prelims are 3 a.m. EST and finals 11 a.m. EST.

The full eight-leg World Cup is being held in long course leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The top three finishers in each event earn $1,500, $1,000 and $500. There is also a $10,000 payout for world records and cluster bonuses awarded from $50,000 to $5,000 among the top six.

The World Cup events are being live-streamed for free on FINATV.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

Atkinson Finishes Out FINA/Airweave World Cup Series In Dubai This Weekend


By Sharon Robb

November 5, 2015—The FINA/Airweave World Cup Series, featuring Florida swimmers Alia Atkinson and Marta Ciesla, comes to a close in Dubai on Friday and Saturday.

Atkinson, 26, three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson who trains with South Florida Aquatic Club, is coming off the Doha meet where she won a gold medal in the 50-meter breaststroke.

Atkinson is seeded first in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:06.21 and 50-meter breaststroke (30.11). Atkinson is also entered in the 200-meter individual medley (2:14.75), 200-meter breaststroke (2:25.48), 50-meter freestyle (25.90) and 50-meter butterfly (26.65).

Atkinson has won $36,750 in prize money during the series this year.

Ciesla, 17, of Pine Crest Swimming is seeded fifth (25.07) in the 50-meter freestyle in her second international meet. She also competed in Doha where she finished sixth in her international debut.

Ciesla is representing the U.S. as a member of USA Swimming’s 14-member 18-and-under squad that also includes University of Florida-bound Maxime Rooney, who took a bronze medal in the 200-meter freestyle in Doha.

Ciesla, a junior defending high school state champion, decided not to compete in the FHSAA State 1A Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday to represent her country.

Dubai is hosting the World Cup for the fifth time. The field features 440 international swimmers and 350 club swimmers from 56 nations according to host officials.

A star-studded field is led by Hungarian Katinka Hosszu and South African Cameron Van der Burgh, who lead the overall points series and will each earn an additional $100,000 bonus.

The field also features Aussies Mitch Larkin and Emily Seebohm; Brazilian Bruno Fratus; American Anthony Ervin, Adam Peaty of Great Britain and Rikke Pederson of Denmark.

Prelims are 3 a.m. EST and finals 11 a.m. EST.

The full eight-leg World Cup is being held in long course leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The top three finishers in each event earn $1,500, $1,000 and $500. There is also a $10,000 payout for world records and cluster bonuses awarded from $50,000 to $5,000 among the top six.

The World Cup events are being live-streamed for free on FINATV.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Atkinson Wins Gold On Day Two Of FINA/Airweave World Cup Series In Doha


By Sharon Robb

November 3, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson bounced back after a slow start in Tokyo to win a gold medal Tuesday on the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series tour.

Atkinson, 26, a three-time Jamaican Olympian, won the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.55 and pocketed $1,500 in prize money at the Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha, Qatar. It was the sixth fastest time of the year and her 32nd World Cup gold medal.

Atkinson also won silver in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:07.83 on opening day.

In other championship finals:

Aussie Melanie Wright won the 100-meter freestyle in 53.87. Hungarian Katinka Hosszu was second in 54.40 and American Felicia Lee was third in 55.22, her second fastest time this year.

Brit James Guy won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:47.06.

South African Cameron Van der Burgh won the 100-meter breaststroke in 59.68.

Chad Le Clos of South Africa won the 100-meter butterfly in 51.44, the only swimmer to turn in a sub-52. American Tom Shields was second in 52.10.

Aussie Emily Seebohm won the 100-meter backstroke in 58.34, second fastest time of the year. Hosszu was second in 59.35.

American David Plummer and Aussie Mitch Larkin tied for first in the 50-meter backstroke in 24.70.

Hungarian Zsuzsanna Jakabos won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:08.47. American Cassidy Bayer was third in 2:09.98.

Japan’s Keita Sunama won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:00.48.

New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:06.48, her second distance medal of the meet.

Brazilian Bruno Fratus, making his World Cup meet debut, won the 50-meter freestyle in 22.28. American Anthon Ervin was second in 22.47.

Japan went one-two in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke with Rie Kaneto in 2:23.45 and Runa Imai in 2:24.24.

Aussie Mitch Larkin won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:53.80, his third fastest time of the year.

Switzerland’s Alexandra Sasha Touretski won gold in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.81.

In an exciting 1500-meter freestyle race, the top two finishers touched less than a second apart. Mykhailo Romanchuk of the Ukraine won in 15:07.06 and Damien Joly of France was second in 15:07.97.

Hosszu won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:36.39.

This is the third and final cluster that winds up in Dubai on Friday and Saturday. Prelims are 3 a.m. EST and finals 11 a.m. EST. The World Cup events are being live-streamed for free on FINATV.

The full eight-leg World Cup is being held in long course leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The top three finishers in each event earn $1,500, $1,000 and $500. There is also a $10,000 payout for world records and cluster bonuses awarded from $50,000 to $5,000 among the top six.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

FINA/Airweave World Cup Series Resumes Monday In Doha; Pine Crest’s Ciesla Makes International Debut; SOFLO’s Atkinson Heads Field


By Sharon Robb

November 1, 2015—Marta Ciesla of Pine Crest Swimming will make her international debut on Monday when the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series resumes at the Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha, Qatar.

The high school All-American swimmer will represent the U.S. in the series’ final two meets as a member of USA Swimming’s 14-member 18-and-under squad that also includes Florida-bound Maxime Rooney, Sean Grieshop and Courtney Harnish.

Ciesla, a junior at Pine Crest, competed in her last high school meet this season at the district meet two weeks ago. She gave up competing in the region and state meets to represent her country.

Ciesla, a member of the USA Swimming Junior National Team in the 50 freestyle, will compete Monday in the 50-meter freestyle in the third heat seeded in 25.07. The heats and final are both Monday. Prelims are 3 a.m. EST and finals 11 a.m. EST.

This is the third and final cluster that finishes in Doha and Dubai this week. The Doha event is Monday and Tuesday and Dubai event is Friday and Saturday.

The only other Florida swimmer competing is three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club. Atkinson, 26, looks to rebound after a disappointing cluster start in Tokyo last week where she managed to take only one silver medal and missed making the final in the 100-meter breaststroke, her signature event.

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu and South African Cameron Van der Burgh, the current World Cup points leaders, head an impressive international field that also features Yannick Agnel of France, James Guy and Robbie Renwick of Great Britain, Emily Seebohm of Australia and American Natalie Coughlin.

The full eight-leg World Cup is being held in long course leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The top three finishers in each event earn $1,500, $1,000 and $500. There is also a $10,000 payout for world records and cluster bonuses awarded from $50,000 to $5,000 among the top six.

The World Cup events are being live-streamed for free on FINATV.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Gold, Silver On Day Two In Dubai, Cashes In At FINA World Cup Series

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Gold, Silver On Day Two In Dubai, Cashes In At FINA World Cup Series


By Sharon Robb

September 1, 2014—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson continued her domination of the breaststroke events Monday at the FINA/Mastbank World Cup at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai.

The three-time Jamaican Olympian won the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.12 ahead of American Breeja Larson (29.98) and Austria’s Lisa Zaiser (31.31).

Atkinson has swept the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke events in both Doha and Dubai, the opening cluster of the FINA series.

Atkinson added a silver medal in the 100-meter individual medley in 58.26.

After qualifying first in morning prelims of the 50-meter butterfly, she was fourth in 26.63.

Atkinson returns home with a nice paycheck for less than a week’s worth of work. She won $4,500 in Dubai and earned $37,000 in prize money ($30,000 in cluster bonuses). Atkinson is third in performance bonus points with 967.

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu broke her own world record in the 100-meter individual medley during morning prelims in 56.86, becoming the first woman in history to swim the event under 57 seconds. It was her fifth world record over four days of competition.

“I feel really good, I’m really surprised at the time,” Hosszu said. “Maybe I shouldn’t have gone so fast. Swimming is not like track and field or something where you can set it to break the record. In swimming, you just have to give it all you have.”

Hosszu had another great night in Monday’s finals.

Hosszu won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:22.06. Spain’s Mireia Belmonte took silver in 4:27.66 and American Caitlin Leverenz was third in 4:30.72.

Hosszu also won the 100-meter backstroke in 55.77. Bolles’ Carolina Colorado of Colombia took the bronze in 58.73.

Hosszu won her third event of the night in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:04.68. She won her eighth race of the meet in the 100-meter individual medley in 57.75 after breaking the world record in prelims.

Hosszu took a bronze in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.14.

Hosszu has already earned $125,000 in prize money including $32,500 in Dubai and $50,000 in cluster bonuses which includes her world record cash.

South African Chad le Clos leads the men’s standings with $60,500 in total prize money including $6,000 won in Dubai and $50,000 in cluster bonuses.

The 25-year-old Hosszu is right on schedule two years out from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“It feels pretty good,” she said. “The amazing part is that last year and the year before, I would swim four races in an afternoon and I would get so tired that I was just so happy to get on the podium in some of them.

“Now, I’m like pretty close to the world record in all four of them, so it’s really amazing. I’m really happy that I can see that I’m improving and that what I am doing is right. We have a four-year plan since London to Rio and we are halfway there and it seems we are doing a pretty good job. I just have to stay focused and do the same things I’m doing right now.”

In other championship finals on Monday night:

Hungarian Gergo Kis won the 1500-meter freestyle in 14:53.06. Kis came from behind to overtake early leader David Verraszto, also of Hungary, in the final 100 meters. Verraszto was second in 14:54.69.

Inge Dekker of the Netherlands won her third event of the meet in the 100-meter freestyle in 52.01. Aussie Marieke D’Cruz was second in 53.03. Dekker also won the 50-meter butterfly in 24.59.

Aussie Thomas Fraser-Holmes won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:42.54.

Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta won the 100-meter breaststroke in 57.11. Italian Fabio Scozzoli took silver in 57.40 and Marco Koch of Germany won the bronze in 57.42.

Series points leader Chad le Clos of South Africa won the 100-meter butterfly in 48.59 for his third win of the meet and just missing a world record. American Tom Shields took the silver in 49.00. Le Clos also won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:51.56.

American Eugene Godsoe won the 50-meter backstroke in 23.00

Spain’s Mireia Belmonte won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:02.05.

American Josh Schneider continued his domination in the 50-meter freestyle in 21.11. Bolles alum George Bovell of Trinidad & Tobago took the silver in 21.31.

American Breeja Larson, competing her first season as a pro, won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:20.02.

Germany’s Christian Diener won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:49.14. Shields took the silver in 1:51.92.

South Africa won the mixed 4×50-meter freestyle relay in 1:34.22. Schoeman led off with a 21.45 split that would have won a medal in the individual event.

The second leg of the series is Sept. 29-30 in Hong Kong and Oct. 4-5 in Moscow. The third and final cluster is Oct. 24-25 in Beijing, Oct. 28-29 in Tokyo and Nov. 1-2 in Singapore.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Still Golden At FINA World Cup In Dubai

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Still Golden At FINA World Cup In Dubai


By Sharon Robb

August 31, 2014—Three-time Olympian Alia Atkinson won her third gold medal in less than a week at the FINA/Mastbank World Cup Sunday at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer from Jamaica won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.26 and pocketed $1,500.

Atkinson, the top-seed in the event, had no problem distancing herself from Americans Breeja Larson in 1:04.85 and Laura Sogar in 1:06.93.

Atkinson went out in 29.66 and slowed down in the back half in 33.60.

Atkinson was also sixth in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:11.54, an event Katinka Hosszu broke her own world record in.

“It wasn’t a bad swim tonight,” said her longtime SOFLO coach Chris Anderson. “It was a race to get in better shape. She has a big day tomorrow.”

Earlier this past week, Atkinson swept the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke events. On Monday, she has the 50-meter breaststroke, where she is seeded first and 100-meter individual medley, seeded second behind Katinka Hosszu, and 50-meter butterfly left to swim.

In the World Cup Series-opener in Doha, Atkinson won the 50- (29.12) and 100-meter breaststroke (1:03.79) events and pocketed $3,000 in prize money, $1,500 for each win. She also picked up bonus points for second best performance in the sprint breaststroke.

Atkinson is fourth on the prize money and points list with $4,500 and 54 points for the series opening cluster.

Bolles alum George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago won the 100-meter individual medley in 51.79 finishing ahead of Americans Tom Shields (52.14) and Cody Miller (52.46).

Another Bolles swimmer, Carolina Colorado of Colombia, took the bronze in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:06.96.

The Hungarians dominated opening night action on Sunday.

Series points leader Katinka Hosszu and Daniel Gyurta broke world short course records and each picked up $10,000 in bonus money for a world record.

Hosszu has now collected $58,500 in three days. Gyurta leads the men’s earnings list with 14,500.

Hosszu, who broke three world records in Doha, came back and broke her own 200-meter individual medley record in 2:02.13, lowering her previous mark of 2:02.61 she set earlier this past week. She improved her backstroke and freestyle legs for the new record. American Caitlin Leverenz was second in 2:06.76.

Hosszu also won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:52.25, 50-meter backstroke in a national record 26.10 and 200-meter backstroke in 2:01.17, another Hungarian national record.

Gyurta broke his own world record in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:00.48. His previous record was 2:00.67.

In other championship finals on Sunday:

Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:04.88, off her world record of 7:59.34. There were only four swimmers in the timed final heat.

Aussie Thomas Fraser-Holmes flirted with the world record in the 400-meter individual medley before falling off WR pace but winning the gold in a meet record 3:58.69. The old meet record was 3:58.84. Fraser-Holmes also won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:38.22 ahead of Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic in 3:38.32.

South African Chad le Clos won the 100-meter freestyle in 46.24 and won the 50-meter butterfly in 22.02.

Roland Schoeman, also of South Africa, won the 50-meter breaststroke in 26.16. American Cody Miller took the bronze in 26.38.

Inge Dekker of the Netherlands won the 100-meter butterfly in 56.03. She was the only swimmer under 57 seconds. Dekker also won the 50-meter freestyle in 23.95.

Germany’s Christian Diener won the 100-meter backstroke in 50.10 overtaking early leader and American Eugene Godsoe who took the silver in 50.14.

American Tom Shields won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:50.19, just 11/100ths of a second off his American record he set in Doha.

The meet has a field of 235 swimmers from 38 countries. The Dubai stop is the second and last of Cluster One of the FINA World Cup series.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com