SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Takes Bronze On Final Day Of FINA Champions Swim Series


By Sharon Robb

BEIJING, China, January 20, 2020—Alia Atkinson settled for a bronze medal on the final day of the FINA Champions Swim Series 2020.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s four-time Jamaican Olympian was third out of four swimmers in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:08.88. China’s Jingyao Yu won in 1:07.18 and Italy’s Martina Carraro was second in 1:07.25.

Atkinson pocketed $6,000 for a third place finish. Atkinson has now won $26,000 in two meets. She won $12,000 for two third places in Shenzhen and $14,000 for a second and third place in Beijing.

The race of the meet was Canadian Sydney Pickrem knocking off Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu in the 200-meter individual medley, 2:09.26-2:09.93.

It broke a 56-final winning streak for Hosszu in long course meters and short course meters. Her last loss in the event in either course came at the 2017 FFN Golden Tour stop in Amiens, France where she swam a 2:15.36 to place third behind Cyrielle Duhamel and Fantine Lesaffre of Hungary.

Hosszu is defending Olympic Champion, 4-time defending World Champion in long course, 3-time defending World Champion in short course, 4-time European Champion in long course and 5-time defending European Champion in short course. She’s World Record holder and won 51-consecutive World Cup swims.

Pickrem won $10,000 for first place. The world championship bronze medalist now has the seventh fastest time of her career in long course.

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Takes Silver On Day One Of FINA Champions Swim Series, Pockets $8,000


By Sharon Robb

BEIJING, China, January 18, 2020—Alia Atkinson, leading for most of the race, was out-touched by American Molly Hannis on Day One of the FINA Champions Swim Series 2020 on Saturday.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s four-time Jamaican Olympian was leading the 50-meter breaststroke when Hannis made up ground in the final 10 meters to win in 30.34. Hannis won $10,000.

Atkinson was second in 30.44, winning $8,000. Atkinson has now won $20,000 in two meets. She won $12,000 for two third places in Shenzhen.

Italian Maria Carraro was third in 30.79 pocketing $6,000. Carraro was also third in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:28.80.

China won five gold medals including three-time Olympic champion Sun Yang in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:45.55.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:09.95. She was fourth in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:00.20. Hosszu, 30, was recently named Hungary Sportswoman of the Year for a record seventh time. Hosszu accepted her award via a recorded message since she is in China this week competing at the FINA Champions Series.

Hosszu is the leading money winner so far on the FINA Champions Swim Series with $43,000 after the two-day opener in Shenzhen.

The two-day meet continues on Sunday. Atkinson will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke, seeded in 1:07.76. Only four swimmers are in each event.

ELSEWHERE

Track superstars Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Tajay Gayle were named RJRGleaner Sports Foundation Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year at a gala ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston Friday night. Atkinson was among six other nominees. Shericka Jackson was women’s runnerup.

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Will Compete For Team Iron This Weekend In ISL Pro Debut


By Sharon Robb

LEWISVILLE, Texas, October 18, 2019—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson of Jamaica and Olympic superstars Katinka Hosszu of Hungary and Adam Peaty of Great Britain will make their International Swimming League debut this weekend.

The third stop (the first two were in Indianapolis and Naples, Italy) will feature the LA Current, NY Breakers, Team Iron and London Roar will all compete for the first time in league play Saturday and Sunday at LISD Westside Aquatic Center just outside Dallas.

Hosszu, the most dominant medley swimmer in the world, and Peaty, the fastest male breaststroker in the history of the sport, head the elite field. Peaty and the British team are training at Pine Crest in Fort Lauderdale for three weeks.

Hosszu, a captain of Team Iron, is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, a nine-time Long Course World Champion, and holder of six individual world records.

Peaty, a member of the London Roar, is the reigning Olympic champion in the men’s 100 breaststroke, an eight-time World Champion, and world record holder in the 50 and 100 breaststroke.

Atkinson, a world short course record holder and four-time Olympian, will also compete on Hosszu’s Team Iron along with Russian Vladimir Morozov, the best male short course swimmer in the world.

The league features eight teams all competing for a spot in the splashy season finale in Las Vegas.

The four American clubs are Cali Condors, DC Trident, LA Current and NY Breakers. The international teams are Italy-based Aqua Centurions, France-based Energy Standard, Hungary-based Team Iron and London Roar.

“I’m very excited to be part of this huge movement,” said Hosszu, who owns Team Iron. “I know that we are going to change a lot of things in the sport of swimming. For me, it’s more like a double excitement because I’m an owner of Team Iron and a swimmer in Team Iron, so I see how both sides and how everything unfolds.”

There will be no heats. The events will be held over two hours in a 25-meter pool featuring four swimmers per final.

Swimmers will race for team points, with relays worth double. Skins sprints feature three heats, with eight swimmers reduced to four and then a head-to-head of the fastest two. Points earned in skins are worth triple.

The top four finishers in each race are eligible for prize money beyond what they receive from team revenue. The ISL has committed to a 50-50 split of revenue with the teams and swimmers, who receive base salaries as well.

Other ISL stops are in Hungary, Washington, D.C., and London. The top two teams from the U.S. and Europe after the six regular-season meets advance to the finals on Dec. 20-21.

Two aspects the ISL has implemented outside of the pool is a zero tolerance stance on doping (any athlete with a positive test is not allowed to compete) and equal pay between men and women.

Also, every ISL competitor will have access to financial benefits, including substantial prize money, personal insurance and pension plans. Each of them have signed two contracts – one with their team and another with the league – with central revenues, generated through sales of sponsorship, media rights and merchandise, distributed equitably.

Each team will pay its swimmers from a total salary budget of $150,000, with additional cash bonuses offered based on performance.

Ukrainian Konstantin Grigorishin, the ISL’s founder and financier, talks about bringing a “paradigm shift” in swimming, a sport he believes has huge untapped commercial potential but which has suffered from inertia on the part of Fina, which controls the amateur sport.

ESPN will provide live and delayed streaming of the ISL on ESPN3, which can be accessed through the ESPN app. It will also be shown on CBC Sports for Canadian viewers.

ISL 2019 Schedule:

5-6 October 2019 – IU Natatorium, Indianapolis, USA

12-13 October 2019 – Aquatic Swimming Complex, Naples, Italy

19-20 October 2019 – The LISD Westside Aquatic Center, Lewisville, Texas, USA

26-27 October 2019 – Duna Area, Budapest, Hungary

16-17 November 2019 – Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, Maryland, USA

23-24 November 2019 – London Aquatic Centre, Great Britain

20-21 December 2019 – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, USA

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

New Pro Swim League Makes Debut Saturday In Indianapolis; SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Will Compete For Team Iron Next Week In Italy


By Sharon Robb

INDIANAPOLIS, October 4, 2019—The new International Swimming League kicks off on Saturday with some of the biggest names in swimming competing for cash prizes at IU Natatorium.

The league features eight teams with four of them competing on Saturday and Sunday, the first of six meets in the U.S. and Europe culminating with a splashy season finale in Las Vegas.

Americans Lilly King, Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel and Natalie Coughlin along with world record holder Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, Chad le Clos of South Africa, Ariarne Titmus of Australia, Federica Pellegrini of Italy and Laszlo Cseh of Hungary will compete this weekend.

King will compete for the Cali Condors, one of four American-based clubs in the league. She will be joined by Dressel, Kylie Masse and Olivia Smoliga.

The three other American clubs are DC Trident, LA Current and NY Breakers. The international teams are Italy-based Aqua Centurions, France-based Energy Standard, Hungary-based Iron and London Roar.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Condors will compete against DC Trident, Energy Standard and Italy-based Aqua Centurions.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson, 30, a four-time Jamaican Olympian, will compete in the league for Team Iron, led by Iron Woman Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, who owns the team. Atkinson is one of more than 100 Olympians on the eight teams including 41 gold medals from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“I’m very excited to be part of this huge movement,” Hosszu said. “I know that we are going to change a lot of things in the sport of swimming. For me, it’s more like a double excitement because I’m an owner of Team Iron and a swimmer in Team Iron, so I see how both sides and how everything unfolds.”

At 37, Natalie Coughlin will compete in her first meet since the 2016 Olympic Trials. She was 12 Olympic medals that equals the most ever by a female swimmer.

There will be no heats. The events will be held over two hours in a 25-meter pool featuring four swimmers per final.

Swimmers will race for team points, with relays worth double. Skins sprints feature three heats, with eight swimmers reduced to four and then a head-to-head of the fastest two. Points earned in skins are worth triple.

The top four finishers in each race are eligible for prize money beyond what they receive from team revenue. The ISL has committed to a 50-50 split of revenue with the teams and swimmers, who receive base salaries as well.

Other ISL stops are in Italy, Texas, Hungary, Washington, D.C., and London. The top two teams from the U.S. and Europe after the six regular-season meets advance to the finals on Dec. 20-21.

Two aspects the ISL has implemented outside of the pool is a zero tolerance stance on doping (any athlete with a positive test is not allowed to compete) and equal pay between men and women.

Also, every ISL competitor will have access to financial benefits, including substantial prize money, personal insurance and pension plans. Each of them have signed two contracts – one with their team and another with the league – with central revenues, generated through sales of sponsorship, media rights and merchandise, distributed equitably.

Each team will pay its swimmers from a total salary budget of $150,000, with additional cash bonuses offered based on performance.

Ukrainian Konstantin Grigorishin, the ISL’s founder and financier, talks about bringing a “paradigm shift” in swimming, a sport he believes has huge untapped commercial potential but which has suffered from inertia on the part of Fina, which controls the amateur sport.

ESPN will provide live and delayed streaminh of the ISL on ESPN3, which can be accessed through the ESPN app. It will also be shown on CBC Sports for Canadian viewers.

ISL Schedule:

5-6 October 2019 – IU Natatorium, Indianapolis, USA

12-13 October 2019 – Aquatic Swimming Complex, Naples, Italy

19-20 October 2019 – The LISD Westside Aquatic Center, Lewisville, Texas, USA

26-27 October 2019 – Duna Area, Budapest, Hungary

16-17 November 2019 – Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, Maryland, USA

23-24 November 2019 – London Aquatic Centre, Great Britain

20-21 December 2019 – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, USA

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

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

Dressel, Manuel, Hosszu Make History; SOFLO’s Atkinson Misses Medal On Final Day Of 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 28, 2019—Caeleb Dressel, Simone Manuel and Katinka Hosszu set medal records on the eighth and final day of the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships Sunday at Nambu International Aquatics Centre.

Dressel, a University of Florida, Clay High School and Bolles Club alum, Dressel became the first man to win eight medals at a championship. Dressel won gold in all four of his individual events, six golds and two silver medals overall, and one world record.

Sjostrum won five medals, one gold, two silvers and two bronze medals, tying Missy Franklin for the most medals in world championship history.

For the second consecutive world championships, Dressel and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum were named Swimmers of the Meet. Dressel had 22 points and Sjostrum had 15 points.

Manuel is the first American woman to sweep the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events and became the first woman to win seven medals in a single world championship. She won the 50 on Sunday in 24.05. Sjostrum was second in 24.07.

Hosszu became the first woman and only the second after Michael Phelps to win five world titles in the same event when she won gold in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:32.07. She was 20 when she won her first 400IM in 2009 in Rome.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, the 2015 silver medalist, left worlds without a medal. Her best finish was fourth in the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.34 on the final day.

SOFLO teammate and Vietnamese Olympian Vien Nguyen was 19th in 4:47.96 in her third and final event at worlds.

Canada, with former Lake Lytal Lightning and Florida State swimmer Will Pisani, enjoyed its best worlds. After winning a bronze medal and setting a national record in the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay, Canada finished with a record two gold and six bronze medals, all in Olympic events. Swimmers reached 19 finals, two more than in Budapest in 2017 and most finals since 1978.

South African Zane Wadell was an upset winner in the men’s 50-meter backstroke by 0.06 seconds in 24.43 ahead of Russian favorites Evgeny Rylov in 24.49 and Kliment Kolesnikov in 24.51. It was his first world title.

American Lilly King crushed the women’s 50-meter breaststroke field by 0.16 seconds to defend her title in 29.84, the only swimmer to crack 30 seconds. Italy’s 14-year-old sensation Benedetta Pilato was second in 30.00 and Russian Yuliya Efimova was third in 30.15.

“I didn’t know if it was happy tears or sad tears,” King said. “She’s 14, it doesn’t really matter what kind of tears they were, but I was like, ‘It’s OK, you did fine.”’

Germany’s Florian Wellbrock won the men’s 1500-meter freestyle in 14:36.54. Mykhailo Romanchuk of the Ukraine was second in 14:37.63 and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri was third in 14:38.75.

Japan’s Daiya Seto reclaimed the 400-meter individual medley title in 4:08.95. American Jay Litherland was second in 4:09.22 and Lewis Clareburt of New Zealand was third in 4:12.07.

Kelsi Worrell led the U.S. to a world record and gold medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay along with 17-year-old Regan Smith, Lilly King and Simone Manuel. The foursome won in 3:50.40, bettering the previous record by more than a second.

Great Britain won the 400-meter medley relay in 3:28.10 knocking off the U.S. men’s team with Dressel at anchor in 3:28.45. Russia was third in 3:28.81.

It was the U.S. team’s 14th gold medal for the week. They also had eight silver and five bronze, less than their 2017 showing. There were ten world records broken, 17 championship records, five junior world records, three African, 12 American, six Asian, five European and seven Oceanian records.

Smith’s opening split of 57.57 set a world record and made her the first woman to go under 58 seconds in the 100 backstroke.

The world championships has brought together a record 2,620 athletes from 194 countries and territories around the world with 76 sets of medals up for grabs in pool swimming, open water swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming.

Live Results: http://omegatiming.com

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

Peaty, Dressel, Hosszu Among Gold Medalists; SOFLO’s Atkinson Finishes 11th On Day Two Of 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 22, 2019—A day after breaking his own world record, Adam Peaty of Great Britain sealed the deal by winning the 100-meter breaststroke at the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships on Monday at Nambu International Aquatics Centre.

Peaty, 24, made history on opening day as the first man to break 57 seconds in an astounding 56.88, breaking his own world record by 0.22 sconds. He came back in Monday’s finals to win the gold medal in 57.14, fourth fastest swim in history. Peaty is the first male swimmer to win five world championship medals in the breaststroke events.

Brit teammate James Wilby took silver in 58.46 and China’s Yan Zibei won bronze in 58.63.

In the women’s semifinals, Russian Yuliya Efimova(1:05.56), the fastest woman in the world this year, and Amerian Lilly King (1:05.66) are the top two qualifiers for the 100-meter breaststroke.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Ali Atkinson of Jamaica failed to make it into finals tying for 11th in 1:07.11. The four-time Olympian was a bronze medalist in the event in 2015. Atkinson is also entered in the 50-meter butterfly and 50-meter breaststroke.

Canadian Maggie MacNeil knocked off Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum in the 100-meter butterfly. MacNeil, fifth at the turn, found another gear to win in 55.83. Sjostrum was second in 56.22 and Aussie Emma McKeon was third in 56.61. American Kelsi Dahlia was sixth in 57.11.

Sjostrum saw her win streak snapped. She held all 10 of the all-time top 10 times and was the second woman ever to break 56. Her last defeat dates back to December, 2012. MacNeil is now the second fastest woman in history.

Clay High School, Bolles Sharks and University of Florida alum Caeleb Dressel won the 50-meter butterfly in an American and meet record 22.35. Dressel is the first American man to win this event at the world championships. It was his second gold medal of worlds.

“That’s faster than two years ago and a better place than two years ago,” Dressel said. “It’s good, good for Team USA and I’m glad I can be a part of keeping that ball rolling.”

Russian Oleg Kostin was second in a national record 22.70 and Nicholas Santos of Brazil, at age 39, was third in 22.79.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu started her gold medal campaign with defending her title in the 200-meter individual medley. Hosszu was clocked in 2:07.53 and became the first woman to win four straight titles in an event.

China’s 2012 Olympic champion Ye Shiwen was second in 2:08.60, her first medal since 2011 and best time since 2012. Canadian Sydney Pickrem was third in 2:08.70. American Melanie Margalis of St. Petersburg was fourth in 2:08.91.

Among past or current local swimmers results: 100-meter backstroke, 16. Dylan Carter, Trinidad& Tobago 54.03; 100-meter breaststroke, 11. Alia Atkinson, Jamaica 1:07.11; 200-meter freestyle, 53. Jorge Depassier, Chile 1:53.62.

The world championships has brought together a record 2,620 athletes from 194 countries and territories around the world with 76 sets of medals up for grabs in pool swimming, open water swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming.

The meet will be streamed and televised by the Olympic Channel and live timing will be available.

TV Schedule: https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2019/07/17/swimming-world-championships-tv-stream-schedule/

Live Results: http://omegatiming.com

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