Siobhan Haughey Breaks World Record; SOFLO’s Atkinson Disqualified In Semis At FINA Short Course World Championships


By Sharon Robb
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, December 16, 2021–In a wild start to the 15th FINA Short Course World Championships at Etihad Arena, a world record was broken, a relay finish tied for gold and several swimmers were disqualified including world record holder Alia Atkinson.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s five-time Jamaican Olympian was disqualified in the 50-meter breaststroke semifinals. Atkinson, 33, the top seed and defending champion in the event, was disqualified for a downward dolphin kick before her first place finish in 29.55. Atkinson had won gold in the event in 2018 in China and still holds the world record of 28.56.

In an unprecedented call, thirteen other swimmers were disqualified in the women’s 50 breaststroke and men’s 100 breaststroke prelims. According to meet officials, all disqualifications were called by underwater cameras and not one specific lane judge.

Atkinson has the 100-meter breaststroke left to swim on Sunday with opening heats.

SOFLO teammate Julio Horrego, 23, representing Honduras, was 25th overall in the 100-meter breaststroke heats in 58.80 and fell short of making the semifinal round.

In championship final action:

Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong took down the world record and course record in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:50.31. Her opening split was 53.81. She earned $50,000 in world record bonus money in addition to $10,000 for first place. The previous record was 1:50.43, set by Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom in 2017.

Felix Auboeck of Austria won the 400-meter freestyle in a national record 3:35.90. It was his first gold medal in the event.

Italy’s Alberto Razzetti won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:49.06 ahead of Switzerland’s Noe Ponti in 1:49.81 and Olympic gold medalist Chad le Clos of South Africa in 1:49.84.

Canadian Tess Cieplucha won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:25.55. It was her first world title in the event. American Melanie Margalis of St. Petersburg took the bronze in 4:26.63.

In an exciting race, Daiya Seto of Japan won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:51.15 followed by American Carson Foster in 1:51.35 and Italian Alberto Razzetti in 1:51.54.

In another exciting race, the U.S. and Canada tied for gold in the women’s 4×100-meter freestyle rely in 3:28.52. Sweden took bronze in 3:28.80. The Canadian foursome of Kayla Sanchez, Margaret MacNeil, Rebecca Smith and Katherine Savard broke the national record. The U.S. relay members were Kate Douglass, Claire Curzan, Katherine Berkoff and Abbey Weitzeil.

Russia (Kliment Kolesnikov, Andrei Minakov, Vladislav Grinev and Aleksandr Shchegolev) won the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay in 3:03.45. Italy was second in 3:03.61 and U.S. (Ryanb Held, Hunter Tapp, Shaine Casas, Zach Apple) was third in 3:05.42.

The five-day meet continues Friday with the pool competition and ends Tuesday, Dec. 21.

FINA is offering a prize money pool of $2.8 million, a 50 percent increase in prize money for individual swimmers. There is also be a $50,000 bonus for any swimmer who breaks a world record.

The top eight individual payoffs for first through eighth place are $10,000, $8,000, $7,000, $6,000, $5,000, $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000.

There are 943 swimmers from 183 countries competing. The swimming is part of the Aquatics Festival which includes open water swimming, high diving and diving team competition.

Final sessions of the pool swimming will be streamed on NBC Sports’ Olympic Channel. Eurovision Sport’s All Aquatics will air the heats.

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

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK: Hosszu, Sjostrom, Le Clos Shine On Final Day Of FINA World Cup Series; Missouri Tigers Dominate Show-Me Showdown


By Sharon Robb

October 1, 2017—Hungarian Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu just missed the 100-meter individual medley world record on Day Two of the FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup Series in Hong Kong.

The final session featured some of the world’s best swimmers and series leaders including Hosszu, Sarah Sjostrom and Chad Le Clos.

In the race of the night, Hosszu pulled away from Sjostrom to win the 100 individual medley in 56.97, off her world record of 56.51 and ahead of Sjostrom in 58.62. The two have been the stars of the series.

Hosszu also won the 100-meter backstroke in 56.20 ahead of Aussie Emily Seebohm in 56.71.

Hosszu finished the meet with a win in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:33.55, pulling away from South African Jessica Whelan in 4:50.24.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of SOFLO won her second gold medal of the meet in the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.26. She also took third in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:26.70; was fourth in the 100-meter individual medley in 59.57; and fifth in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.32. Atkinson automatically qualified for finals and did not have to swim prelims.

On Saturday she won the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.09. It was her seventh gold medal of the 2017 series. She has also taken three bronze medals after three of the eight series stops.

Other winners were:

Sjostrom won the 100-yard freestyle in 51.99 ahead of Ranomi Kromowidjojo in 52.53. She also won the 50-meter butterfly in 24.62 just missing the world record of 24.38.

Le Clos won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:42.88 ahead of American Tom Shields in 1:43.58. Le Clos also won the 100-yard butterfly in 50.28, again ahead of Shields in 50.82.

Cameron van der Burgh won the 100-yard breaststroke in 56.43.

Florida State alum Pavel Sankovich of Belarus won the 50-meter backstroke in 23.03. It was his first win of the weekend meet.

China’s Zhang Yufei won the women’s 200-meter butterfly in 2:08.64.

Russian Kirill Prigoda won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:54.81 just out-touching Hong Kong’s Kenneth To in 1:54.83.

Femke Heemskerk won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:04.30.

Russian Vladimir Morozov won the 50-meter freestyle in 20.91, the only sub-21 in the final. Le Clos was second in 21.48.

Canadian Kierra Smith led from start to finish to win the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:18.48.

Christian Diener of Germany won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:51.25.

China’s Qiu Ziao knocked off 800 world champion Gabriele Detti of Italy in the 1500-meter freestyle in 14:44.09. Detti took silver in 14:46.44.

Netherlands won the 4×50 freestyle mixed relay in 1:32.11 with Thom de Boer (22.04), Kyle Stolk (21.69), Femke Heemskerk (24.21) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (24.17).

Next up is Doha, Qatar Oct. 4-5.

FINA has increased the prize money for the top reward among overall series winners from $100,000 to $150,000 for first, $100,000 for second and $50,000 for third. The increase in prize has not attracted more top level swimmers for the remainder of the series. Most of the world’s top swimmers from national teams are not competing.

Coaches and swimmers are planning to start a new pro tour in 2018. It features the concept of a pledge to pay 49 percent of all revenue generated to athletes. FINA’s spend on swimmers amount to less than five percent of available funds.

COLLEGE SWIMMING

Missouri men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams hosted the 12th annual Show-Me Showdown, competing against teams from all over the state. The Tigers won 21 combined events on both the men’s and women’s sides.

The women’s team had 700 points and men’s team, led by NSU University School and Pine Crest Swimming Club alum Jordy Groters of Aruba this season, finished with 676 points. Groters, a senior, is one of six returning All-Americans, along with junior Mikel Schreuders, also Aruban. Schreuders won the 100-yard freestyle in 46.00 and was a member of the winning 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays. Both Groters and Schreuders are coming off this summer’s FINA World Championships.

The Tigers next meet is Oct. 14 at home. The men will swim SEC foe South Carolina and women will battle South Carolina and Arkansas.

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

SOFLO’s Atkinson Wins Second Gold At FINA/Airweave World Cup; Next Up Beijing On Tuesday


By Sharon Robb

September 26, 2015—Alia Atkinson continued her winning streak at the FINA/Airweave World Cup in Hong Kong.

Atkinson, 26, a three-time Jamaican Olympian and longtime South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer, won the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.90 at the Victoria Park Swimming Pool. She went 30.76 in prelims.

It was her second gold medal of the meet after winning the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:07.91. She pocketed another $1,500 for first.

In other events, Atkinson was sixth in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:25.62 but scratched from the final. She was 12th in the 50-meter freestyle in 27.02 and failed to qualify for the final.

Atkinson is fourth in prize money ($4,000) behind Katinka Hosszu ($79,000), Emily Seebohm ($46,500) and Zsuzsanna Jakobos ($17,500). Hosszu pocketed $13,500 in Hong Kong.

Atkinson is ranked fourth in the world in her signature event in 1:06.21. Atkinson is training through the meet.

Australia’s Dan Smith and Japan’s Masato Sakai and Yuki Shirai finished tied with $3,500 to lead the men’s prize money list after Hong Kong.

Defending World Cup series champions Hosszu and South African Cameron van der Burgh remain in the lead for the overall money series.

Second day action was similar to the opening day with a handful of stars dominating a weak field of international swimmers.

And for the second day, Hosszu dominated the meet. She won eight gold medals and ten overall (silver, bronze).

Among other Saturday championship finals:

Van der Burgh won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:00.23.

Aussie Cate Campbell won the 100-meter freestyle in 53.60 against a field that featured Hosszu and Americans Missy Franklin and Madison Kennedy.

Dan Smith of Australia won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:48.81.

Viacheslav Prudnikov of Russia and Aussie Nic Brown tied for first in the 100-meter butterfly in 53.64.

Aussie Emily Seebohm won the 50-meter backstroke in 28.69.

Hosszu won the 200-meter butterfly, 400-meter freestyle and 400-meter individual medley.

Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura won the 50-meter freestyle in 22.15.

The second cluster of the 2015 FINA/Airweave World Cup is now headed to Beijing for action on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The cluster winds up on Oct. 3-4 in Singapore where SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson, Carolina Colorado and Coach Chris Anderson will remain to participate in an Oct. 5-10 training camp with Swimming Singapore national team high performance coach and former Bolles coach Sergio Lopez.

The full eight-leg World Cup is being held in long course leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics to attract a larger entry of star swimmers. Several world-class swimmers opted not to compete.

Prelims are 9:30 p.m. and finals at 6 a.m. EST. The World Cup action is being live-streamed for free on FINATV.

St. Augustine’s Anh Vien of Vietnam is not competing in the third cluster, opting instead to compete in the eighth Asian Age Group Championships in Bangkok, Thailand, Oct. 1-4. The 19-year-old will also compete in the Oct. 7-10 Military World Games before returning to the World Cup Series in Tokyo on Oct. 28.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Takes Gold On Day One Of FINA/Airweave World Cup Opener In Hong Kong


By Sharon Robb

September 25, 2015—Three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club won a gold medal on opening day of the FINA/Airweave World Cup in Hong Kong.

Atkinson, 26, won the 100-meter breaststroke without having to push the pace at the Victoria Park Swimming Pool.

Atkinson won in 1:07.91 against a slow, lackluster field and pocketed $1,500. Russia’s Vitalina Simonova took silver in 1:09.63 and China’s Lui Xiaoyu grabbed the bronze in 1:09.87. Atkinson was the only star breaststroker in the women’s field.

Atkinson is ranked fourth in the world in her signature event in 1:06.21. Atkinson is training through the meet. With her two wins during the first cluster, Atkinson has won $4,500.

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, three-time defending World Cup champion, stole the spotlight on Day One. The Iron Lady competed in six events, winning five golds and one bronze medal.

In Friday’s championship finals:

Katsumi Nakamura of Japan won the 100-meter freestyle in 49.48 just ahead of Aussie Kenneth To in 49.52. To is coming off back surgery. The field was missing several top swimmers including Chad Le Clos of South Africa and Mehdy Metella of France.

Hosszu won her first gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:55.81, her fastest time of the year. Missy Franklin took the silver in 1:58.38.

South African Cameron Van der Burgh won the 50-meter breaststroke in 27.23. It was his 35th

gold medal at a World Cup meet.

Hosszu won her second event in the 100-meter butterfly in 59.31 just 30 minutes after her first race.

Japan’s Yuki Shirai won the men’s 100-meter backstroke in 54.39.

Aussie world champion Emily Seebohm won the 50-meter backstroke in 27.90, the only swimmer under 28 seconds. Hosszu took a bronze in 28.49 and Franklin was fifth in 28.87.

Japan’s Masato Sakai won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:56.25.

Hosszu won the third gold medal of the night and 23rd World Cup gold in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:11.78. It was also her 17th consecutive World Cup win in the event.

Aussie Dan Smith won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:52.68.

In the battle of the Campbell sisters, Aussie Cate Campbell won the 50-meter freestyle in 24.60 just touching out sister Bronte in 24.94.

Akihiro Yamaguchi of Japan won the 200-meter breaststroke in the most exciting race of the night. Yamaguchi won in 2:13.13 just 1/100th of a second ahead of countryman Ippei Watanabe.

Hosszu won her fourth gold medal against a stacked field in 2:08.61 in the 200-meter backstroke. Seebohm took silver in 2:09.77 and Franklin settled for the bronze in 2:11.23. Franklin has now lost more 200 backstroke races this year than in all the previous years of her career combined.

Japan took another gold medal in the 50-meter butterfly with Geoff Cheah, coming off a long layoff, took gold in 24.23.

Hosszu won her fifth and final gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:42.88.

Hungarian David Verraszto won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:18.06.

The second cluster of the 2015 FINA/Airweave World Cup is Sept. 25-26 in Hong Kong, Sept. 29-30 in Beijing and Oct. 3-4 in Singapore where Atkinson, Colorado.

The full eight-leg World Cup is being held in long course leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics to attract a larger entry of star swimmers but officials and sponsors said the plan backfired since several world-class swimmers opted not to compete.

The second day of the Hong Kong leg is Saturday with prelims at 9:30 p.m. and finals at 6 a.m. EST. The action is being live-streamed for free on FINAtv.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Atkinson, Colorado Head Field For FINA/Airweave World Cup Opener In Hong Kong


By Sharon Robb

September 23, 2015—With more star swimmers entering the upcoming cluster of the FINA/Airweave World Cup, competition will be tougher when competition resumes on Friday in Hong Kong.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson and Carolina Colorado head the Florida contingent. Atkinson, a three-time Jamaican Olympian and Colorado, a two-time Colombian Olympian, will compete in their specialty events.

SOFLO coach Chris Anderson stressed his swimmers are training through all the meets from his PROFLO swimmers to Florida Gold Coast club swimmers.

The second cluster of the 2015 FINA/Airweave World Cup is Sept. 25-26 in Hong Kong, Sept. 29-30 in Beijing and Oct. 3-4 in Singapore where Atkinson, Colorado and Anderson will remain to participate in an Oct. 5-10 training camp with Swimming Singapore national team high performance coach and former Bolles coach Sergio Lopez.

Atkinson has been riding a wave of success since she tied the world short course record and won a gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Atkinson is ranked fourth in the world in her signature event in 1:06.21. She won a silver and bronze in the 50- and 100-yard breaststroke events respectively at the world championships.

Olympian Missy Franklin and Aussie world champions Emily Seebohm and Bronte Campbell will add to the already strong women’s field led by Hungary’s Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu.

Colorado is working her way back after illness and has been training well with the SOPRO group. She will be tested in the backstroke with Hosszu and Franklin.

The men’s field will feature Frenchman Olympic gold medalist Florent Manaudou and Cameron Van Der Burgh of South Africa.

Most of the swimmers are coming off the FINA World Long Course Championships in Kazan, Russia.

The full eight-leg World Cup is being held in long course leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Several international swimmers are trying to get Olympic qualifying times.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com