SOFLO’s Atkinson Wins Another Gold In FINA World Cup First Leg Finale


By Sharon Robb

SINGAPORE, August 17, 2019–Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club added another gold medal on the third and final stop of the opening cluster of the FINA World Cup Swimming Cup.

The four-time Jamaican Olympian won the 50-meter breaststroke in a season-best 30.31 which moves her up to fifth in the world. She also won the 100 breaststroke on the same stop in 1:07.35. American Breeja Larson was second in 30.98.

The 30-year-old Atkinson swam faster than her fourth place time in the event at the FINA World Championships last month.

Atkinson finished seventh in point standings with 60 points. Hungarian Katinka Hosszu and Russian Vladimir Morozov each finished with 156 points.

Hosszu and Morozov were crowned Asian cluster champions. In addition to winning $1,500 each for her three wins in Singapore, the 30-year-old also earned $50,000 bonus for being the cluster champion.

Morozov, 27, won $1,500 each for his nine gold medals across three stops and $50,000 in bonus money.

“It feels amazing, words can’t really describe it,” Morozov said. “That was the plan the whole way, to lead with the first cluster and clinch that win. It wasn’t easy.

“It’ll probably get more difficult (as the series progresses) because a lot of athletes are taking a break now after the world championships, so there’s probably going to be a bit more competition at the European stops. But that’s good, it means we’ll go faster.”

The seven-leg World Cup resumes on October 4-6 in Budapest, Hungary. All legs of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2019 act as qualifying events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Second Gold, Third Overall On FINA Swimming World Cup Tour


By Sharon Robb

JINAN, China, August 10, 2019–Alia Atkinson won her second gold medal on the second stop of the FINA Swimming World Cup.

The four-time Jamaican Olympian won the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.92 on the third and final day of the meet.

“It was good,” Atkinson said. “Although it was slower than I wanted, but I think it’s because I am tired after the three days of competition.”

Atkinson also won the 100-meter breaststroke on Friday in 1:07.06. She won the 50-meter breaststroke on the opening leg after a slow start in her other events. Each gold medal is awarded $1,500 in prize money.

“We are going to Singapore [the third leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup], but not sure yet about Budapest,” Atkinson said. “The Tokyo Games will be my fifth Olympic Games, and right now I need to get faster every time I swim to prepare for it.”

Seven World Cup records were set in Jinan, just two weeks after the 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea.

Jinan is the second leg of the 2019 FINA Swimming World Cup which includes seven legs. The next leg will be held in Singapore from August 15 to 17.

RESULTS

50m free: Men – Vladimir Morozov (RUS) 21.50; Women – Cate Campbell (AUS) 24.16

100m free: Men – Vladimir Morozov (RUS) 47.99 WC; Women – Cate Campbell (AUS) 52.34 WC

200m free: Men – Danas Rapsys (LTU) 1:45.07 WC; Women – Hou Yawen (CHN) 1:58.98

400m free: Men – Danas Rapsys (LTU) 3:43.91 WC; Women – Erica Sullivan (USA) 4:08.70

800m free: Women – Erica Sullivan (USA) 8:26.13

1500m free: Men – Ji Xinjie (CHN) 15:16.15

50m back: Men – Vladimir Morozov (RUS) 24.43 WC; Women – Liu Xiang (CHN) 27.35 WC

100m back: Men – Mitch Larkin (AUS) 53.79; Women – Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 59.65

200m back: Men – Mitch Larkin (AUS) 1:56.39; Women – Emily Seebohm (AUS) 2:09.56

50m breast: Men –Yan Zibei (CHN) 27.12; Women – Alia Atkinson (JAM) 30.92

100m breast: Men – Yan Zibei (CHN) 59.08; Women – Alia Atkinson (JAM) 1:07.06

200m breast: Men – Andrew Wilson (USA) 2:08.24; Women – Vitalina Simonova (RUS) 2:24.52

50m fly: Men – Szebasztian Szabo (HUN) 22.93; Women – Cate Campbell (AUS) 25.63

100m fly: Men – Szebasztian Szabo (HUN) 51.45; Women – Zhang Yufei (CHN) 57.41

200m fly: Men – Grant Irvine (AUS) 1:55.94; Women – Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 2:07.26

200m IM: Men – Mitch Larkin (AUS) 1:57.26; Women – Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 2:09.41

400m IM: Men – Thomas Fraser-Holmes (AUS) 4:20.50; Women – Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 4:36.99

4x50m free mixed: Australia 3:26.61

4x50m medley mixed: China 3:43.79 WC

2019 Calendar

1. Tokyo (JPN) – August 2-4
2. Jinan (CHN) – August 8-10
3. Singapore (SGP) – August 15-17
4. Budapest (HUN) – October 4-6
5. Berlin (GER) – October 11-13
6. Kazan (RUS) – November 1-3
7. Doha (QAT) – November 7-9

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

Jamaican Alia Atkinson Breaks Own Short Course Meter World Record At FINA World Cup


By Sharon Robb

October 6, 2018—In a fast pool at Duna Arena in Budapest, Hungary, four-time Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club came up with her second career short course meter world record on the final day of the FINA World Cup Series’ second cluster.

On Saturday, Atkinson, 29, broke her own world record in the 50-meter breaststroke in 28.56 and picked up $10,000 in world record bonus money. It was one of three world records broken in the 25-meter pool format.

“Well this happened!” Atkinson posted on Facebook. “God you never cease to amaze me. From struggling at Commonwealth to a World Record 5 months later. Thank you Budapest, the fans, pool, the city, the volunteers and competition was amazing.”

The veteran swimmer’s previous record was 28.64 set in 2016 during the World Cup circuit stop in Tokyo. It is the eighth time Atkinson has dipped under 29 seconds in the event.

Atkinson is the only swimmer in Jamaican history to break world records.

The top four finishers were all under 30 seconds. Russian Yulia Efimova was second in 29.22, American Molly Hannis was third in 29.51 and Aussie Emily Seebohm was fourth in 29.96.

China’s Wang Jianjiahe broke the world record in the women’s 400-meter freestyle (3:53.97) and Brazil’s Nicholas Santos broke the 50-meter butterfly (21.75) world record.

Atkinson was the best performer in Budapest with 108 points, one point ahead of China’s Jianjahe Wang. The top three women’s overall ranking after the Budapest stop are Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, 204; Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, 162; and Russia’s Yulia Efimova, 153.

After a rollercoaster year, it was Atkinson’s third gold of the series. On Friday she won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:02.80. She also won gold in the 50-meter breaststroke During the Netherlands stop. It was her seventh short course series gold medal.

Atkinson, who turns 30 on Dec. 11, competed in her first Olympics at age 16. Her best long course times, swum in 2015, are 30.11 for the 50 breaststroke and 1:05.93 in the 100 breaststroke.

Hometown hero Katinka Hosszu left with four victories and Aussie Mitch Larkin won three gold medals. China’s Wang Jianjiahe and Russia’s Vladimir Morozov won the second cluster.

The third cluster of the Swimming World Cup will resume Nov. 2-4 in Beijing, Nov. 9-11 in Tokyo and Nov. 15-17 in Singapore.

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

FINA World Cup Series Final Leg In Singapore This Weekend; SOFLO’s Rojas Competes Saturday At Speedo Winter Championships


By Sharon Robb

November 17, 2017—Chad Le Clos of South Africa and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden are expected to clinch the overall titles going into this weekend’s final leg of the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series in Singapore.

Both have huge leads and favored to clinch at the OCBC Aquatics Centre. If they clinch, they will be awarded $150,000.

Le Clos, a four-time Olympic medalist, leads the men’s standings with 402 points, a 129-point cushion.

Sjostrom, who won three gold medals at the Budapest World Championships, has 578 points, 132 points ahead of three-time Olympic gold medalist Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, the defending World Cup Series overall champion. It is the first time Sjostrom has done the entire World Cup circuit.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of SOFLO is among the women’s field. Atkinson is coming off a win in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:19.58 and 50-meter breaststroke. She has won 51 World Cup medals overall including 11 gold medals this year.

SPEEDO WINTER CHAMPIONSHIPS

SOFLO’s Marc Rojas, 23, will compete in one event Saturday at the 27th annual Speedo Winter Championships at Plantation Aquatics Complex.

Rojas, who represents the Dominican Republic internationally, is seeded first in the 100-yard breaststroke in 55.70 among 25 swimmers in the open field.

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

Sjostrom Breaks Back-To-Back World Records; Atkinson Wins Second Gold At FINA World Cup Series In Eindhoven


By Sharon Robb

August 12, 2017—Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom broke back-to-back world records and Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson won back-to-back gold medals to highlight the FINA World Cup Series in Eindhoven.

After breaking a world record on Friday, Sjostrom, the most dominant swimmer during the opening cluster of the series, broke her own world record of 1:50.78 in the 200-meter freestyle to win in 1:50.43, dropping .35 off her old mark to win. She also owns the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly short course meters world records.

Spain’s Mireia Belmonte broke the second world record of the night in the 400-meter individual medley and knocked off Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu by six seconds. Belmonte won in 4:18.94 and was the first woman to dip below 4:19 in the short course 400 IM event.

Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands, the world record holder in the 50-meter freestyle, won the sprint race in a national record 24.54 ahead of Sjostrom by 1/100th of a second.

After winning the 100-meter breaststroke on Friday, South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson won the 50-meter breaststroke in 28.84, off her world record of 28.64 set last year in Tokyo. It was her 27th World Cup career win in the sprint event and earned her another $1,500 for gold. Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania was second in 29.57, the only other swimmer under 30 seconds.

In other races:

Aussie Emily Seebohm won the 100-meter backstroke in 56.00. American Olivia Smoliga was second in 56.58. Hosszu was third in 58.11, off her morning swim of 56.95.

South African Chad Le Clos won the 100-meter freestyle in 45.96. Later on, Le Clos won the 100-meter butterfly in 49.09.

Russian Kirill Prigoda won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:02.15.

Belarus swimmer and Florida State alum Pavel Sankovich won the 50-meter backstroke in a national record 22.84.

Norway’s Henrik Christiansen overtook Italy’s Gabriele Detti won the 1500-meter freestyle to win in 14:26.48 to 14:28.43.

The second cluster of the World Cup Series will feature only two meets, the Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in Hong Kong and Oct. 4-5 in Doha.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

Two World Records Fall At FINA World Cup Series; SOFLO’s Atkinson Takes Gold


By Sharon Robb

August 7, 2017—Katinka Hosszu of Hungary and Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands took down two world records Monday at the FINA World Cup Series in Berlin.

Kromowidjojo became the first woman to break the 23-second mark in the 50-meter freestyle. The Olympian broke the world short course record in 22.93, breaking the record of 23.10 set five days ago by Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom in the Moscow series opener. Sjostrom also swam under her world record in 23.00.

It is the third time the Dutchwoman has set or tied the world record since 2013.

Hosszu broke the 100-meter individual medley in 56.51, breaking her own world record of 56.67 set in 2015. Hosszu owns all IM world records in short and long course meters.

After breaking the world record, Hosszu won two more golds in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:00.37 and 100-meter butterfly in 55.86 against a stacked field including Sjostrom.

Also on Day Two, with none of the world’s top breaststrokers in the field, four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, 28, of South Florida Aquatic Club breezed to a win in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.16. Finland’s Jenna Laukkanen was second in 1:04.56.

Atkinson also won a bronze medal in the 100-meter individual medley in 58.12 behind Hosszu (56.51) and Sjostrom (57.30).

Chad Le Clos of South Africa won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:49.08 just nipping American Tom Shields in 1:49.26.

South African teammate Cameron van der Burgh won the 50-meter breaststroke in 25.49.

Hungary’s Kominik Kozma won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:41.03.

Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki won the 100-meter backstroke in 49.97, the only male to break 50 seconds. Florida State alum Pavel Yankovich of Belarus took bronze in 50.70.

Mireia Belmonte of Spain won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:57.79, the only sub-4 minute swim in the field.

Philip Heintz of Germany won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:05.16, just ahead of Italy’s Federico Turin in 4:05.73.

Next up will be the third leg of the first cluster, Aug. 11-12 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Atkinson Wins Gold On Day One Of FINA World Cup Series In Moscow


By Sharon Robb

August 2, 2017—Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club won her first international gold medal of 2017 on Tuesday at the FINA World Cup Series opener at JSC Olympisky Sports Complex in Moscow.

The four-time Jamaican Olympian, who took three months off after a disappointing 2016 Rio Olympics where she was a medal favorite, won the 50-meter breaststroke just out-touching former world record Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania in 29.46.

Atkinson went 29.73 in morning prelims. Meilutyte finished second in 29.51. Natalia Ivaneeva of Russia was third in 29.87. Russian Yulia Efimova was seeded fifth after prelims but scratched from the final.

Atkinson just missed a medal in the 100-meter individual medley placing fourth in 59.55 just out-touching the Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk in 59.57. Hungary’s world record holder Katinka Hosszu picked up her second gold medal of the day in 57.02 just ahead of Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom.

Atkinson picked up $1500 for the gold medal and $400 for fourth.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom was the highlight of the day. She broke the world record in the 50-meter freestyle in the short course meters meet in 23.10. It was her third world record in 11 days. She broke two at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Hungary.

Katinka Hosszu won the 100-meter backstroke in 55.65, just one half second off her world record of 55.03.

South African Chad Le Clos surged in the final 50 meters to win the 200-meter freestyle in 1:42.54. His split of 25.71 overcame leader Aleksandr Krashnykh of Russia. Le Clos also won the 100-meter butterfly in 49.13. Brit Adam Barrett was second in 49.45 and American Tom Shields was third in 49.55.

Russian Kirill Prigoda won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:02.16. Russian teammate Anton Chupkov, who won gold in the event last week at worlds, was third in 2:04.08.

Federica Pellegrini of Italy knocked off Spain’s Mireia Belmonte in the 400-meter freestyle in 3:57.80. Belmonte took silver in 3:58.24.

FSU alum Pavel Sankovich of Belarus won the 50-meter backstroke by 2/10ths in 23.20.

Germany’s Philip Heintz won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:04.93 with a margin of victory of 3.5 seconds. Aussie Mitch Larkin was second in 4:07.93.

Franziska Hentke of Germany overtook early leader Katinka Hosszu in the final 50 meters to win he 200-meter butterfly in 2:03.43. Hosszu faded on the back end and finished second in 2:05.36.

Russia, Poland and Germany were top three finishers n the mixed 200-meter medley relay.

Moscow is the first meet in which FINA World Cup’s new rules are being instituted. Olympic and World medalists are now allowed to bypass prelims and advance directly into finals. There is also a limit of four races per leg for swimmers. Prize money has been expanded to the top six finishers. Relays also earn prize money.

The two-day meet ends on Thursday. FINA World Cup’s Cluster One also features Berlin, Aug. 6-7, and Eindhoven, Aug. 10-11.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com