SOFLO’s Atkinson Takes Gold, Bronze On Day Two Of FINA/MASTBANK World Cup In Beijing


By Sharon Robb

October 25, 2014—Three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club added another gold and bronze to her medal haul Saturday at the FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup in Beijing, China.

Atkinson, 25, won the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.15, just 0.03 seconds off her season-best, and came from behind to finish third in the 100-meter individual medley in 59.05 and picked up $2,000. Her 50-meter breaststroke race was ranked the second best performance among women earning her 18 bonus points.

On Friday, Atkinson won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:04.11 and picked up 12 points and $1500 for the win.

Atkinson is fourth on the points and prize money list with 207 points and $46,500 in prize money earnings. She earned $3,500 in Beijing.

Atkinson will now head to Tokyo for the Oct. 28-29 where she will be joined by her longtime SOFLO coach Chris Anderson.

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu continues to take center stage on the World Cup Series. She has won $215,000 in prize money, picking up $11,000 in Beijing. South African Chad Le Clos leads the men’s prize money list with $131,500.

Hosszu, who won seven events at the Beijing stop, made more history by surpassing Slovakian Martina Moravcova for the most World Cup event wins of all-time. Moravcova attended SMU and trained in Fort Lauderdale with the now-defunct FLST.

Moravcova retired with 105 wins and two overall series titles. Hosszu, at age 25, now has 110 wins.

Aussie Mitch Larkin broke the national record in the 200-meter backstroke in 1:48.69, breaking the previous mark of 1:49.62 set in 2009. Larkin swam career-bests in all three backstroke events.

In other final events:

Men’s 1500-meter freestyle: Hungarian Gergley Gyurta, after finishing second in the 400-meter individual medley, won the distance event in 14:38.27.

Women’s 400-meter individual medley: Hosszu won her fifth gold medal of the meet in 4:25.66. Florida alum Elizabeth Beisel, making her World Cup debut, was fourth.

Women’s 100-meter freestyle: Inge Dekker of the Netherlands won in 52.72.

Men’s 200-meter freestyle: South African Myles Brown won in 1:44.12 just ahead of German Paul Biedermann in 1:44.48.

Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: Daniel Gyurta of Hungary won in 57.25.

Men’s 100-meter butterfly: German Steffan Deibler won in 49.96, the only swimmer to break 50 seconds.

Women’s 100-meter backstroke: Hosszu won her sixth medal in 56.73, winning by more than a second.

Men’s 50-meter backstroke: China’s Jiayu Xu won in 23.29 ahead of Aussie Mitch Larkin and American Eugene Godsoe.

Women’s 200-meter butterfly: China’s Li Shuang won in 2:04.34 to top an impressive field that included Hosszu who finished fourth.

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: In an all-Asian field, Daiya Seto of Japan won in 1:54.21.

Women’s 400-meter freestyle: Teenager Cao Yue of China won in 4:00.72 upsetting world record holder Mireia Belmonte of Spain who finished in 4:01.08.

Men’s 50-meter freestyle: South African Chad Le Clos won in 21.28. George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago finished out of the medal hunt placing fourth in 21.40.

Women’s 200-meter breaststroke: Aussie Sally Hunter led from start to finish to win in 2:19.26.

Women’s 100-meter individual medley: Hosszu won her seventh and final medal of the night in 58.11 ahead of China’s Shiwen Ye in 58.36.

Men’s 200-meter backstroke: Aussie Mitch Larkin won in 1:48.69.

Women’s 50-meter butterfly: Dutch swimmer Inge Dekker won in 24.97 and Hosszu was eighth in 27.51.

Men’s 4×50-meter freestyle relay: China won in 1:31.69 ahead of Russia in 1:41.66.

This is the fifth leg of the tour that started in Doha and Dubai in August. The final two stops are Tokyo, Japan (Oct. 28-29) and Singapore (Nov. 1-2).

The Beijing meet attracted 300 swimmers from 32 countries. Swimmers race for $1,500 for first, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. There is also a $10,000 bonus offered for a world record performance swim.

The stakes are high with $300,000 in prize money offered to the sixth highest ranked men and women swimmers. After the Singapore leg, the men’s and women’s World Cup winners will earn $100,000, second place $50,000 and third place $30,000.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Atkinson Wins Gold, Bovell Takes Silver; Beisel Makes Debut On Day One Of FINA/MASTBANK World Cup In Beijing


By Sharon Robb

October 24, 2014—Alia Atkinson is now trying to play catch-up at the FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup Friday in Beijing, China.

The three-time Jamaican Olympian of the South Florida Aquatic Club got off to a good start on Friday.

Atkinson, 25, won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:04.11 and picked up 12 points against a week women’s field. She attacked the first 50 in sub-30 in 29.98 and won the race by more than a second picking up $1500 for the win.

Atkinson is fourth overall in money earnings with $44,500. After not competing in Russia, Atkinson is 21 points behind (171 points) Spain’s Mireia Belmonte of Spain (189 points) and $72,000 in the overall series standings.

Bolles alum George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago took second in the 50-meter breaststroke in 26.91 behind Roland Schoeman in 26.87.

Bovell won his second silver medal of the night in the 100-meter individual medley in 52.43 and earned $1,000 per medal.

Local fans had something to cheer about after watching China’s Lu Ying and Xu Jiayu break national records in back-to-back races.

Lu Ying lowered her national record in the 100-meter butterfly in 55.95 after knocking off favorite Inge Dekker of the Netherlands. Lu is the first Chinese woman to go under 56 seconds.

Xu Jiayu broke the men’s national record in the 100-meter backstroke in 50.14, shaving 8/10ths off the previous mark set by Sun Xiaolei in 2011.

Most of the Chinese swimming in the meet competed in the Asian Games in late September and national championships in mid-October.

In other final events:

Women’s 800-meter freestyle: Hungarian Katinka Hosszu took up where she left off in the second cluster. She won the distant event in a national record and career-best 8:08.41. “Compared with training, I like competition better because it is easier and more relaxed than training,” she said.

Men’s 400-meter individual medley: Daiya Seto of Japan won by nearly five seconds in 4:04.84.

Men’s 100-meter freestyle: South African Chad le Clos had no problem winning in 46.81. He led from start to finish.

Women’s 200-meter freestyle: Hosszu picked up her second win of the day. Florida alum Elizabeth Beisel, making her World Cup finals debut, was seventh in 1:57.28. It was only her second short course meters event.

Women’s 50-meter backstroke: China went one-two with Fu Yuanhui winning in 26.43 and Qiu Yuhan in 26.64.

Men’s 200-meter butterfly: Le Close picked up his second victory in 1:49.73 including 28.9 in the last 50 meters.

Women’s 200-meter individual medley: Hosszu picked up her third gold medal of the night in 2:02.13. American Caitlin Leverenz took silver in 2:07.88.

Men’s 400-meter freestyle: China’s 2012 Olympic champion Sun Yang won in 3:37.10, the fastest time in the world this year. “It is my first Beijing World Cup meet, I am excited,” Sun said. “I am not in my best shape.”

Women’s 50-meter freestyle: Inge Dekker of the Netherlands won in 23.97.

Men’s 200-meter breaststroke: Hungarian Daniel Gyurta won easily in 2:03.40. He led from start to finish after 50 meters.

Men’s 100-meter individual medley: Russian Sergei Fesikov won with a season-best 52.30.

Women’s 200-meter backstroke: Hosszu won her fourth gold medal in 2:02.71, just edging Aussie Madison Wilson who finished in 2:02.81.

Men’s 50-meter butterfly: Le Clos won his third gold medal in 22.03, second fastest time in the world this year.

4×50-meter mixed medley relay: China won in 1:40.10 followed by Russia and Japan.

This is the fifth leg of the tour that started in Doha and Dubai in August. The final stops are Beijing, Tokyo, Japan (Oct. 28-29) and Singapore (Nov. 1-2).

The Beijing meet has attracted 300 swimmers from 32 countries. Swimmers are racing for $1,500 for first, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. There is also a $10,000 bonus offered for a world record performance swim.

The stakes are high with $300,000 in prize money offered to the sixth highest ranked men and women swimmers. After the Singapore leg, the men’s and women’s World Cup winners will earn $100,000, second place $50,000 and third place $30,000.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Three More Medals At Hong Kong World Cup

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Three More Medals At Hong Kong World Cup


By Sharon Robb

September 30, 2014—-Three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson added another gold and bronze medal along with her first silver at the FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup Tuesday night in Hong Kong.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer won her third straight 50-meter breaststroke title in 29.35, much slower than her times (29.12) in Doha and Dubai.

Atkinson, 25, was second in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:24.94 and also took third in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.28.

Atkinson finished the opening leg of the second cluster with two gold medals and two bronze medals. She also won the 100-meter breaststroke and was third in the 50-meter freestyle.

Atkinson picked up $6,000 in Hong Kong and now has $43,000 in prize money earnings to rank third on the FINA circuit.

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, who won five more events on he second night, totaled $17,000 in Hong Kong and now has $142,000 overall.

While American Tom Shields made the most money among men in Hong Kong with $7,500 he is fourth on the money list. South African Chad le Clos won $6,000 and has $66,500 to lead the men’s list.

Hosszu, the most versatile swimmer on the circuit, won the 100 backstroke, 400 individual medley, 200 butterfly, 400 freestyle and 100 individual medley on the final night. Le Clos won the 100 butterfly in 48.56 and 50 freestyle in 21.17.

The Hong Kong meet had one of the weakest fields assembled. The next FINA World Cup stop is Moscow where Atkinson will not compete.

Other winners were:

Men’s 1500-meter freestyle: Hungarian Gergely Gyurta won in 14:38.72. He was never challenged and led from start to finish.

Women’s 100-meter freestyle: Dutch sprinter Inge Dekker won the first of two events in 52.83.

Men’s 200-meter freestyle: Aussie Thomas Fraser-Holmes won in 1:43.59.

Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: Hungarian Daniel Gyurta held off German Marco Koch to win in 57.35.

Men’s 50-meter backstroke: Aussie Ash Delaney won in 23.73.

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: Fraser-Holmes won his second event of the night in 1:53.58.

Women’s 200-meter breaststroke: Japan’s Rie Kaneto had no problem winning the gold in 2:19.55 for a five-second margin of victory.

Men’s 200-meter backstroke: Shields won in 1:51.88 ahead of Delaney in 1:52.87.

Women’s 50-meter butterfly: Dekker won her third straight fly title in 25.24, outsprinting Hosszu, second in 25.92.

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Among Field At FINA/Mastbank World Cup

SOFLO’s Atkinson, Trinidad’s Bovell Among Field At FINA/Mastbank World Cup


By Sharon Robb

August 26, 2014—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson, coming off the Commonwealth Games, will resume her international schedule Wednesday at the FINA/Mastbank Swimming World Cup at the Hamad Aquatic Centre in Doha, Qatar.

The three-time Jamaican Olympian will compete in the 50-meter breaststroke on Day One and 100-meter breaststroke and 100-meter individual medley on Day Two.

Atkinson will be joined by her longtime SOFLO coach Chris Anderson. The pair have been training at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines since she brought home a silver and bronze medal in her third Commonwealth Games appearance in Scotland.

Doha is the first stop in the 2014 calendar with the competition moving to Dubai for Cluster One, Hong Kong and Moscow for Cluster Two and Beijing, Tokyo and Singapore for Cluster Three over two months from August to early November.

The field has 150 swimmers from 30 countries including two of the top three men’s finishers and all three women’s finishers on the 2013 World Cup circuit. The competition pool is 25 meters.

Atkinson finished second in the standings behind three-time Hungarian Olympian Katinka Hosszu, reigning World Cup series champion. Hosszu set six world records and won 32 events to total 537 points. Atkinson took home her biggest paycheck in swimming.

Eight Americans, coming off senior nationals and Pan Pacific Championships, are also entered. They are Breeja Larson, Josh Schneider, Mike Alexandrov, Eugene Godsoe, Laura Sogar, Cody Miller and Caitlin Leverenz.

Atkinson and Larson, a former and current Texas A&M swimmer, will go head-to-head in the 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter individual medley.

Other top international swimmers entered are reigning World Cup champion Chad le Clos, Steffen Deibler, Roland Schoeman, Inge Dekker, Mireia Belmonte, Daniel Gyurta, Ous Mellouli, Robert Hurley, Marieke D’Cruz, Daryna Zevina and Bolles alum George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago.

Mellouli, representing Tunisia, was unable to compete at Pan Pacs because his visa arrived late.

Nearly $2 million in prize money will be distributed during the seven-meet series. First place finishers win $1,500, runner-up earns $1,000 and third place gets $500.

The first cluster that includes Doha and Dubai later this week, will award $300,000 in overall prize money. The money will be distributed among the six highest scoring men and women in each cluster, depending on whether they compete in each meet in that particular cluster.

Each world record swims earns 20 bonus points.

Qatar is pulling out all stops to make sure the meet is successful.

“We have so many fantastic swimmers here,” said Khaleel al-Jabir, president of the Qatar Swimming Association.

“As the first stop in the series we know that swimmers are looking to put their training to the test at our world-class swimming facility. It’s also a great chance for fans around the world to celebrate the sport of swimming and all the hard work these athletes put in.”

FINA officials are using Atkinson’s image in his promotional material for the series including huge posters at the host hotel and pool. She is also featured on the cover of the Team Leaders guide.

The FINA website is live-streaming the meet.

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