SOFLO’s Atkinson Settles For Two Bronze Medals On Day Two Of FINA/Airweave World Cup Series In Moscow


By Sharon Robb

August 3, 2017—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson won two more medals on the final day of the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series opener Thursday at JSC Olympisky Sports Complex in Moscow.

The four-time Jamaican Olympian, after skipping last month’s FINA World Aquatic Championships, finished the two-day meet with one gold medal and two bronze medals.

After winning gold on Day One in the 50-meter breaststroke for her 25th career win in the event,

Atkinson finished third in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:20.63 after qualifying second in prelims in 2:22.07 and 100-meter butterfly in 57.56, after swimming 57.64, second fastest in prelims.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, 23, continued to be the star of the meet.

After breaking the world record in the 50-meter freestyle (23.10) Sjostrum took down the 100-meter freestyle in 50.77. The speedster now holds eight short and long course world records.

Sjostrum also won the 100-meter butterfly in 55.70.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu had no trouble winning the 200-meter individual medley by three seconds in 2:04.76. It was her third gold medal of the meet. Hosszu raced only one event because of the new rule that limits events.

Russia’s Vlad Morozov won the 100-meter individual medley in 51.04 and 50-meter freestyle in 20.93.

South African Cameron van der Burgh won the 100-meter breaststroke in 56.30.

Denmark’s Rikke Pedersen won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:19.84.

Russia’s Aleksandr Krasnykh won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:38.55.

Radoslaw Kawecki of Poland won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:48.96.

Chad Le Clos of South Africa won the 50-meter butterfly in 22.31.

Miriea Belmonte of Spain won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:07.10, winning by more than 10 secnds.

Moscow was the first meet in which FINA World Cup’s new rules have been 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.

The series resumes on Sunday and Monday in Berlin followed by Eindhoven, Aug. 10-11.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson Breaks World Record


By Sharon Robb

October 26, 2016—After a disappointing finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Alia Atkinson of Jamaica broke a world short course record in the 50-meter breaststroke Wednesday at the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series in Tokyo.

Atkinson, 27, of South Florida Aquatic Club, who shares the 100-meter breaststroke short course world record with Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte broke the previous record of 28.80 held by American Jessica Hardy since 2009, in 28.64, shaving 16/100ths off the record. Atkinson is the first Jamaican swimmer to solely own a world record.

Atkinson is one of only three women swimmers who have cracked the 29-second barrier.

She topped a less than stellar field including Russian Yulia Efimova and American Molly Hannis and finished as the top female scorer in Tokyo.

Atkinson is coached by SOFLO’s Chris Anderson, who has coached her to four Olympic Games since she was a teenager at Flanagan High School.

Atkinson was a favorite to medal in Rio in the 100-meter breaststroke on the sport’s biggest world stage but faltered to eighth place in the final.

Atkinson earned a $10,000 bonus from FINA for breaking a world record along with 20 points toward her cluster bonus. She also picked up $35,000 for finishing second in the Cluster Two competition behind Hungarian Katinka Hosszu and now is fifth overall with $54,000 behind Hosszu, Jeanette Ottesen, Daryna Zevina and Efimova.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com for results and questions.

http://www.swim4soflo.com

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

SOFLO’s Atkinson Takes Silver At FINA/Airweave World Cup Series In Doha


By Sharon Robb

November 3, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson worked her way back on the medal podium in her signature event and Pine Crest’s Marta Ciesla swam against an American icon in her international debut Monday at the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series.

Atkinson, 26, a three-time Jamaican Olympian, finished second in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:07.83. American Molly Hannis won the event cracking 1:07 in 1:06.94 at the Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha, Qatar.

Atkinson was also 17th in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.88 and 20th in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:23.63.

Ciesla, 17, competing against 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, working towards her fourth Olympics, finished sixth in her first international final in 25.60. Ciesla earned the fifth seed in prelims and swam faster in the final.

The high school All-American is representing the U.S. as a member of USA Swimming’s 14-member 18-and-under squad.

The junior gave up competing in the high school region and state meets to represent her country.

In other championship finals:

South African Chad le Clos, after a short layoff from racing, came back strong to win the 100-meter freestyle in 48.96. Florida-bound Maxime Rooney, competing on the USA Swimming 18-and-under team, was sixth in 49.77. Le Clos also won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:55.80 and 50-meter butterfly in 23.43.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu dominated the women’s 200-meter freestyle field to win in 1:56.60. She also won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:10.22.

FINA World Cup points leader Cameron van der Burgh won the 50-meter breaststroke in 26.96. American Kevin Cordes, training in Singapore, was third in 27.81 and Michael Andrew was fourth in 28.73.

American Felicia Lee won the 100-meter butterfly in 58.83.

Aussie Mitch Larkin broke the national and Commonwealth records to win the 100-meter backstroke in 52.26. Michael Andrew was sixh in 55.52.

Aussie teammate Emily Seebohm won the 50-meter backstroke in 27.85. Coughlin took silver in 28.23 and Hosszu the bronze in 28.40.

Great Britain’s James Guy won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:46.76.

Frenchwoman Anna Santamans won the 50-meter freestyle in 24.95. Coughlin was third in 25.40.

Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:10.33.

Seebohm won another gold in the 200-meter backstroke knocking off Hosszu, 2:07.19 to 2:08.73.

New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:24.76.

Hungarian David Verraszto won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:16.67.

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