SOFLO’s Atkinson Wins Gold, Silver; Breaks National Record On FINA World Cup Day Two; Swims Tuesday In Berlin


August 26, 2016—Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic won her second event Saturday at the FINA World Cup Series opener in Paris-Chartres, France.

A day after tying her own short course meter world record in the 100-meter breaststroke, the four-time Jamaican Olympian won the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.25 and $1,500 first place prize money.

Prize money breakdown is $1,500 for first, $1,000 for second and $500 for third.

All three sprint breaststroke finishers were sub-30. Yulia Efimova was second in 29.34 and Katie Meili was third in 29.75.

Atkinson, 27, was second in the 100-meter individual medley in 57.84 for another $1,000, just behind series leader Katinka Hosszu of Hungary in 57.63.

Atkinson was also fourth in the 50-meter butterfly in a national record time of 26.04 after qualifying in 26.70. She broke her own national record of 26.65 she swam last year at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Santa Clara.

She also tied for seventh in the 100-meter freestyle in 56.16 and scratched from the final. She did not compete in the 200-meter breaststroke.

On Friday, Atkinson tied her world record of 1:02.36 equalling her own and Ruta Meilutyte’s world record to kick off the World Cup Series on a positive not and put her disappointing finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics behind her.

It was Atkinson’s first meet since her eighth place finish in the 100-meter breaststroke, her signature event. She now heads to Berlin for the second leg.

Other winners:

Jeanette Ottesen, Denmark, 100-meter freestyle, 51.84.

Philip Heintz, Germany, 200-meter freestyle, 1:43.13.

Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa, 100-meter breaststroke, 56.42.

Chad le Clos, South Africa, 100-meter butterfly, 49.05.

Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 100-meter backstroke 55.93.

Jeremy Stravius, France, 50-meter backstroke, 22.85, the only sub-23 in the field.

Franziska Hentke, Germany, 200-meter butterfly, 2:05.16.

Philip Heintz, Germany, 200-meter individual medley, 1:52.03.

Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 400-meter individual medley, 4:27.67.

Vladimir Morozov, Russia, 50-meter freestyle, 20.81.

Rie Kaneto, Japan, 200-meter breaststroke, 2:16.99.

Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 100-meter individual medley, 57.63.

Mitch Larkin, Australia, 200-meter backstroke 1:50.10.

Jeanette Ottesen, Denmark, 50-meter butterfly 25.09.

Jan Micka, Czech Republic, 1500-meter freestyle, 14:56.21.

Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 400-meter freestyle 4:02.83.

Hosszu is looking for her sixth straight title on the FINA World Cup Series. She picked up 11 medals including seven wins in Paris and leads all women by 53 points for a total of 129. Atkinson is second with 76 points.

Vladimir Morozov leads the men’s standings with 86 points, 26 ahead of defending series champion Chad le Clos.

France was the first leg of the nine-meet circuit hosted by the French Swimming Federation in a 25-meter pool. Only 115 swimmers (71 men, 44 women) are competing for $300,000 in overall prize money.

The first cluster of the FINA World Cup also features Berlin, Tuesday and Wednesday and Moscow Sept. 3-4.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

SOFLO’s Murillo-Valdes Ends Olympic Journey; Phelps, Ledecky, Team USA Come Up Big


By Sharon Robb

August 10, 2016—-South Florida Aquatic Club’s Jorge Murillo-Valdes competed in his final event Tuesday at the Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Murillo-Valdes, 24, competed in the 200-meter breaststroke finishing 28th overall in 2:12.81.

Earlier in the week, he broke the Colombian national record in the 100-meter breaststroke and finished 14th in 59.93. It was the first time he ever advanced past the preliminary round.

“Today ends for me this great experience of my first Olympic Games,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “National record, semifinal and a lot of things to improve. Today I close my cycle. Rio 2016 opens up the new with very good expectations for Tokyo 2020.”

The United States continued to dominate particularly Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky.

In their first meeting since the 2012 London Olympic final of the 200-meter butterfly which Phelps lost to South African Chad Le Clos, Phelps reclaimed his gold medal in 1:53.36. Phelps led after the first 100 meters.

It was Phelps 20th gold medal and 24th Olympic medal overall since his debut in Athens, Greece as a teenager. It also his third victory in the event, also winning in 2004 and 2008. It was his first individual medal of the Games after opening with a relay victory.

Phelps, 31, held off Japan’s Masato Sakai who silvered in 1:53.40. Phelps also won another gold medal as a member of the 4×200-meter freestyle relay for his 21st gold and 25th medal overall.

The butterfly race was won by 4/100ths of a second, the smallest margin of victory ever in the history of the race.

“I was pretty far up after that individual race,” Phelps said. “It was the race I wanted back. I did everything to win the race. I don’t care about the time. I just wanted to win. That event was my bread and butter. That was the last time I’ll ever swim it.

“It was a challenging one tonight. It is mind blowing to talk about everything that Bob and I have achieved for the sport. I think we can call it mission accomplished.”

Phelps was joined on the winning 4×800 relay by Connor Dwyer, Townley Haas and Ryan Lochte who won in 7:00.66.

“That was probably one of my most challenging doubles,” Phelps said. “Doing a double like that is a lot harder than it once was.”

After breaking her own world record in the 400-meter freestyle, Ledecky was pushed to the limit before winning the 200-meter freestyle in 1:53.73 ahead of favorite Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden.

Ledecky has yet to lose an international race since her debut at the 2012 Olympics.

“I just let it happen,” Ledecky said. “I saw I had the lead. I wasn’t going to let it go. I had to dig deep. That was the closest I have come to throwing up in a race. Every part of my body hurt at the end of the race.”

In other events:

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu withdrew from the 200-meter butterfly heats to save her energy for the 200-meter individual medley which paid off in another gold medal in 2:06.58, her third of the Games. American Maya DiRado took the bronze in 2:08.79.

“Amazing, I honestly can’t believe I have three golds,” Hosszu said. “I am very excited. I can’t believe I have three gold medals.”

DAY 5: WEDNESDAY

AFTERNOON SESSION: Noon, Women’s 100-meter freestyle heats; 12:23 p.m., Men’s 200-meter backstroke heats; 12:45 p.m., Women’s 200-meter breaststroke; 1:07 p.m., Men’s 200-meter individual medley; 1:29 p.m., Women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

EVENING SESSION: 9:03 p.m., Men’s 200-meter breaststroke final; 9:09 p.m., Women’s 100-meter freestyle semifinals; 9:25 p.m., Men’s 200-meter backstroke semifinals; 954 p.m., Women’s 200-meter butterfly final; 10:03 p.m., Men’s 100-meter freestyle final; 10:08 p.m., Women’s 200-meter breaststroke semifinals; 10:55 p.m., Women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Finishes Heart-Breaking Eighth In Olympic Final


By Sharon Robb

August 8, 2016—-After a poor start off the blocks, Alia Atkinson was never in the race.

In her fourth Olympic appearance for Jamaica, the South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer left the pool deck Monday night at Olympic Aquatics Stadium without a medal.

Swimming in Lane 7, Atkinson, 27, finished a disappointing eighth in 1:08.10 in the final of the 100-meter breaststroke, her signature event.

It was a heart-wrenching finish for the well-liked swimmer favored to medal and become her country’s first Olympic medalist in the sport.

American teenager Lilly King, 19, won the gold medal in an Olympic record 1:04.93, finishing ahead of Russian 2015 world champion Yulia Efimova, who tested positive twice for banned substances yet was inexplicably cleared to compete by the IOC and FINA on Saturday.

Efimova took the silver and American Katie Meilli won the bronze.

“Winning a gold medal, I hope I made a statement,” King said. “We can still compete clean and do well at the Olympic Games. That’s how it should be.

“This is incredible, I am speechless,” King said. “I told Katie in 15 minutes our lives were going to change.”

Reigning Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte was seventh.

There were three other Olympic medal finals.

China’s Sun Yang put in a surge in the final 25 meters to win the gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:44.65 and second gold of the Games. South Africa’s Chad Le Clos, the early leader with incredible underwaters, took silver in 1:45.20 just out-touching American Conor Dwyer, who took bronze in a best time 1:45.23.

“I am just happy to get on the podium, it’s a relief,” Dwyer said.

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu also won her second gold medal of the Games, winning the 100-meter backstroke in 58.45. American Kathleen Baker, 19, who battled back from Crohn’s disease to make the U.S. team, won the silver in 58.75. Canadian Kylie Masse and China’s Fu Yuanhui tied for the bronze in 58.76.

“This means the world to me,” Baker said. “I am going to cry if I keep talking about it. I couldn’t be happier. This is so cool.”

Jacksonville Bolles alum Ryan Murphy kept the U.S. tradition alive in the 100-meter backstroke winning in an Olympic record 51.97. It is the sixth consecutive Olympic Games the U.S. has won a gold medal in the event. American David Plummer, 30, the oldest swimmer on the team, took bronze in 52.40 in his Olympic debut.

“It means everything to me to be in that group of backstrokers that includes Aaron Piersol and Matt Grevers,” Murphy said. “To follow the path they set for us is really cool.”

Only 35/100ths of a second separated the top six swimmers in the backstroke field.

Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi and American Michael Phelps finished .16 seconds part in the second heat of the 200-meter butterfly semifinals. Reigning Olympic champion Chad Le Clos earned the fourth seed in 1:55.19 not long after winning silver in the 200 freestyle.

After swimming in the faster 200-meter freestyle semifinal, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum and American Katie Ledecky, world record holders and Olympic gold medalists already, will be seeded one-two for Tuesday night’s final. Only 6/100ths of a second separated them in the qualifier.

In one of the biggest disappointments of the night, 2012 Olympic darling Missy Franklin failed to make Tuesday night’s 200-meter freestyle final finishing eighth in the slower semifinal in 1:57.56. Franklin tied for 13th overall.

DAY 4: TUESDAY

AFTERNOON SESSION: Noon, Men’s 100-meter freestyle heats; 12:26 p.m., Women’s 200-meter butterfly heats; 12:48 p.m., Men’s 200-meter breaststroke heats; 1:15 p.m., 4×200-meter freestyle relay heats.

EVENING SESSION: 9 p.m., 100-meter freestyle semifinals; 9:19 p.m., Women’s 200-meter freestyle final; 9:28 p.m., Men’s 200-meter butterfly final; 9:34 p.m., Women’s 200-meter butterfly semifinals; 10 p.m., Men’s 200-meter breaststroke semifinals; 10:29 p.m., Women’s 200-meter individual medley final; 10:38 p.m., Men’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay final.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Murillo-Valdes Breaks Colombian National Record In Olympic Debut; Atkinson Begins Medal Quest Sunday


By Sharon Robb

August 7, 2016—-South Florida Aquatic Club’s Jorge Murillo-Valdes made a great first impression in his Olympic debut.

Murillo-Valdes, 24, broke the Colombian national record in the 100-meter breaststroke in a lifetime-best 59.93 during the heats of opening day swimming action Saturday at Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Barra Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro.

It was the first time Murillo-Valdes cracked the minute barrier.

Late Saturday night, Murillo-Valdes was unable to advance past the semifinals finishing in 1:00.81.

On Sunday, SOFLO’s four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson begins her medal hunt in the 100-meter breaststroke in the afternoon heats and late night semifinals.

SOFLO teammate Timothy Wynter, also of Jamaica, will make his Olympic debut in the 100-meter backstroke. He will be in Lane 5 in the opening heat with a qualifying time of 57.47.

Three world records, two individual and one relay, were broken on Day One.

In his first Olympic race, Great Britain’s Adam Peaty, 21, lowered his world record in the 100-meter breaststroke in 57.55.

With a .55 reaction time off the blocks, Peaty was under his own world record by 3/10ths of a second at the turn. In the semifinals, Peaty qualified for Sunday’s final in 57.62. He now owns the six fastest breaststroke times in history.

“I am not very sure how to explain the world record,” Peaty said. “The job is not done yet. You never know what’s going to happen in each race. I felt pretty good and easy.”

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, who trained in Fort Lauderdale during a training camp before the Olympics, got her first career Olympic gold medal while breaking her own world record in an incredible show of sheer strength and speed.

Hosszu won in 4:26.36. She was five seconds ahead of the record halfway through the race. The previous record was 4:28.43 set in 2012.

“I didn’t think I would go 26, but I knew I would be much faster than in the morning,” Hosszu said. “I haven’t been able to process what just happened.”

Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, the race favorite, won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:06.05, the first gold for Japan in this event. Hagino ended the U.S. streak in the 400 IM at five straight Olympic gold medals. Teammate Daiya Seto took the bronze in 4:09.71.

Australia bounced back from a disappointing 2012 London Olympics, winning the men’s 400-meter freestyle and women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay.

Mack Horton knocked off China’s defending gold medalist Sun Yang, 3:41.55-3:41.68. Italian Gabriele Detti was third in 3:43.89. Americans Conor Dwyer (3:44.01) and Connor Jaeger (3:44.16) were fourth and fifth respectively.

To cap off an exciting, but late opening night of swimming, the Aussies 4×100-meter freestyle relay broke its own world record in 3:30.65. The previous record was 3:30.98. Relay members were Emma McKeon, Brittany Elmslie and sisters Bronte and Cate Campbell.

The American relay of Simone Manuel, Abbey Weitzeil, Dana Vollmer and Katie Ledecky took the silver in a new American record of 3:31.89. Vollmer was coming off the butterfly semifinals. The Canadians, with Sandrine Manville and Chantal Van Landeghem, who trained at Pine Crest during a camp, took the bronze.

In other events:

American Chase Kalisz of North Baltimore took the silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley in a personal best time of 4:06.75 in his Olympic debut.

U.S. teammate Maya DiRado won silver in the 400-meter individual medley. “It’s unbelievable, I had so much fun in that race,” she said. “It was an unbelievable experience. Kudos to Katinka, she crushed it.”

In a shocker, Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell failed to make the final of the 100-meter butterfly. Worrell was long into the finish and was fourth in her semifinal and finished ninth overall in 57.54.

DAY TWO, SUNDAY SCHEDULE:

Afternoon Session: Noon, Women’s 100 backstroke heats; 12:17 p.m., Men’s 200-meter freestyle heats; 12:54 p.m., Women’s 100-meter breaststroke heats; 1:14 p.m., Men’s 100-meter backstroke heats; 1:31 p.m., Women’s 400-meter freestyle heats; 2:03 p.m., Men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay heats.

Evening Session: 9:03 p.m., Women’s 100-meter butterfly final; 9:08 p.m., Men’s 200-meter freestyle semifinals; 9:26 p.m., Women’s 100-meter breaststroke semifinals; 9:53 p.m., Men’s 100-meter breaststroke final; 10:01 p.m., Women’s 400-meter freestyle final; 10:09 p.m., Men’s 100-meter backstroke semifinals; 10:33 p.m., Women’s 100-meter backstroke semifinals; 10:54 p.m., 4×100-meter freestyle relay final.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Ready For Olympic Glory


By Sharon Robb

August 4, 2016—No one is more deserving or more ready to hang an Olympic medal around her neck than Alia Atkinson.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer started her journey as a 15-year-old junior at Flanagan High School when she made her first Olympic team.

“I was going to the 2004 Olympics asking myself ‘what is that?’”

Twelve years later, the world-class swimmer will make her fourth Olympic appearance for Jamaica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this weekend.

Atkinson competes Sunday afternoon in the heats of the 100-meter breaststroke, her signature event, at 1 p.m. EST. The semifinals are Sunday night at 10 p.m. and finals Monday night at 10 p.m.

For two weeks at SOFLO’s home base, Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines, Atkinson did her pre-Olympic workouts, 8-10 p.m. instead of the morning to simulate the time change, competition schedule and conditions of Rio de Janeiro.

Atkinson, 27, is among medal favorites and it shows in her attitude and training.

“Now, there is a difference physically and mentally and even bigger difference experience-wise, but I am still going to feel like that little girl in 2004.”

Atkinson is joined by her longtime coach Chris Anderson and SOFLO teammates Timothy Wynter of Jamaica and Jorge Murillo Valdes of Colombia.

Atkinson’s story is the dream of every young swimmer and also prototype for every young swimmer.

Atkinson has been training with SOFLO since she was 13, three years after her family moved to Pembroke Pines. Two years later, she competed at her first Olympics in Athens, Greece for the experience.

After an outstanding high school career at Flanagan she earned a full scholarship to Texas A&M where she won an NCAA title. At 19, she competed at her second Olympics in Beijing, where she finished 25th in the 200-meter breaststroke.

Atkinson became a serious medal contender at the 2012 London Olympics where she won a swim-off to advance into her first Olympic final. She just missed a medal placing fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Now a world short course record holder, World Championship, Pan American Games, Commonwealth Games and World Cup champion, Atkinson could become Jamaica’s first Olympic medalist in swimming.

“I haven’t changed that much since my first Olympics,” Atkinson said. “I definitely look at the Olympics as another meet. I like to keep it simple. I have always been that way.

“Chris is the same way. He never makes it this big, great achievement when I do something in swimming, even with the world record. He will tell me I did a good job or good meet and down plays what I am doing and I appreciate that.”

When the Jamaican swimming federation failed to give her the traditional Olympic ring like every other country does for its athletes, Anderson presented her with one at SOFLO’s banquet.

“I never realized how big a role Chris has played,” Atkinson said. “I have not given him enough credit over the years. I depend on him.”

Atkinson is in the best shape of her life going into the Olympics. She has been working with weight trainer Kenneth Moore “who whipped me into sprinter shape,” she said.

“For the other three Olympics I was still battling physical issues to see where I was strong, whether I was using the correct weights and regimen. My trainer has helped me to fine tune and switched my ideology when it comes to training.”

Atkinson has gained confidence throughout the years. She is mentally tougher than she has been in past Olympics.

“For me I was always battling my own enemies,” she said. “In 2004 and 2008, deep down I didn’t think I was worthy of making the Olympics. I felt like a filler.

“I think I was too hard on myself. I believe in myself now. I made the “A” cut and I am a contender for the podium. This is a big achievement. Now I have the opportunity to be at the top of the top in my country. It is a pretty big deal. There was a time I didn’t feel that way.”

At 27, Atkinson never dreamed she would still be in the sport. She has a handful of sponsors including Speedo, Rainforest Sea Foods and Grace Kennedy Money Services which have helped with the costs of training and travelling to meets.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to still be here, I never thought I would still be swimming,” Atkinson said.

She has become an inspiration in Jamaica and has helped the growth of swimming among youngsters despite the overwhelming popularity of track and field.

“I think the people of Jamaica see what I stand for, they associate with me and feel they have that fighting spirit,” Atkinson said. “I work hard. They see me on the starting block no matter what the obstacles are trying harder.”

With three days to go, Atkinson is eager to race.

“Sometimes my mind runs on the idea that this could be a medal,” Atkinson said. “And then I think, ‘okay, I have gotten medals before.’ But this is Olympic time.

“I don’t want to say I should have done this or should have done that. As an athlete I have to be okay, I have to be content with what I do.

“Months out I was more anxious and then I went through the worried stage and then the confidence stage. Now it’s this meet needs to get over stage. I know I can swim well. It’s that kind of confidence I need to have on race day. I want to touch the wall, think to myself ‘it is done’ and have a sense of relief wash over me.”

BROWARD, DADE OLYMPIC SWIMMERS

Marcelo Acosta, Azura Aquatics, El Salvador

Gianluca Alberani, Azura Aquatics, El Salvador, coach

Chris Anderson, South Florida Aquatic Club, Jamaica coach

Heather Arseth, University of Miami, Mauritius

Alia Atkinson, Flanagan, Jamaica

Dylan Carter, Plantation American Heritage, Trinidad & Tobago

Randy Horner, Florida International, Botswana, coach

Jorge Murillo-Valdes, South Florida Aquatic Club, Colombia

Jhonny Perez, Azura Florida Aquatics, Dominican Republic

Naomi Ruele, Florida International, Botswana

Jay Thomas, Plantation, USA Swimming official

Renzo Tjon-A-Joe, Westlake Prep, Surinam

David Van Der Colff, Nova Southeastern, Botswana

Timothy Wynter, South Florida Aquatic Club, Jamaica

OLYMPIC SWIM SCHEDULE

DAY I, SATURDAY:

Afternoon Session: noon, Men 400-meter individual medley heats; 12:26 p.m., Women 100-meter butterfly heats; 12:46 p.m., Men 400-meter freestyle heats; 2:02 p.m., 1:30 p.m., Women 400-meter individual medley; 2:02 p.m., Men 100-meter breaststroke heats; 2:22 p.m., Women 4×100 freestyle relay heats.

Evening Session: 9:03 p.m., Men 400-meter individual medley final; 9:11 p.m., Women’s 100-meter butterfly semifinal; 9:30 p.m., Men 400-meter freestyle final; 9:49 p.m., Women 400-meter individual medley final; 10:05 p.m., Women 100-meter breaststroke semifinal; 10:24 p.m., Women 4×100-meter freestyle relay final.

DAY 2, SUNDAY:

Afternoon Session: Noon, Women’s 100 backstroke heats; 12:17 p.m., Men’s 200-meter freestyle heats; 12:54 p.m., Women’s 100-meter breaststroke heats; 1:14 p.m., Men’s 100-meter backstroke heats; 1:31 p.m., Women’s 400-meter freestyle heats; 2:03 p.m., Men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay heats.

Evening Session: 9:03 p.m., Women’s 100-meter butterfly final; 9:08 p.m., Men’s 200-meter freestyle semifinals; 9:26 p.m., Women’s 100-meter breaststroke semifinals; 9:53 p.m., Men’s 100-meter breaststroke final; 10:01 p.m., Women’s 400-meter freestyle final; 10:09 p.m., Men’s 100-meter backstroke semifinals; 10:33 p.m., Women’s 100-meter backstroke semifinals; 10:54 p.m., 4×100-meter freestyle relay final.

DAY 3, MONDAY:

AFTERNOON SESSION: Noon, Women’s 200-meter freestyle heats; 12:32 p.m., Men’s 200-meter butterfly heats; 12:54 p.m., Women’s 200-meter individual medley.

EVENING SESSION: 9:12 p.m., Women’s 200-meter freestyle semifinals; 9:21 p.m., Men’s 200-meter freestyle final; 9:30 p.m., Women’s 100-meter backstroke final; 9:38 p.m., Men’s 100-meter backstroke final; 9:54 p.m., Women’s 100-meter breaststroke final; 10:07 p.m., Men’s 200-meter butterfly semifinals; 10:33 p.m., Women’s 200-meter individual medley.

DAY 4: TUESDAY

AFTERNOON SESSION: Noon, Men’s 100-meter freestyle heats; 12:26 p.m., Women’s 200-meter butterfly heats; 12:48 p.m., Men’s 200-meter breaststroke heats; 1:15 p.m., 4×200-meter freestyle relay heats.

EVENING SESSION: 9 p.m., 100-meter freestyle semifinals; 9:19 p.m., Women’s 200-meter freestyle final; 9:28 p.m., Men’s 200-meter butterfly final; 9:34 p.m., Women’s 200-meter butterfly semifinals; 10 p.m., Men’s 200-meter breaststroke semifinals; 10:29 p.m., Women’s 200-meter individual medley final; 10:38 p.m., Men’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay final.

DAY 5: WEDNESDAY

AFTERNOON SESSION: Noon, Women’s 100-meter freestyle heats; 12:23 p.m., Men’s 200-meter backstroke heats; 12:45 p.m., Women’s 200-meter breaststroke; 1:07 p.m., Men’s 200-meter individual medley; 1:29 p.m., Women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

EVENING SESSION: 9:03 p.m., Men’s 200-meter breaststroke final; 9:09 p.m., Women’s 100-meter freestyle semifinals; 9:25 p.m., Men’s 200-meter backstroke semifinals; 954 p.m., Women’s 200-meter butterfly final; 10:03 p.m., Men’s 100-meter freestyle final; 10:08 p.m., Women’s 200-meter breaststroke semifinals; 10:55 p.m., Women’s 4×200-eter freestyle relay.

DAY 6: THURSDAY

AFTERNOON SESSION: Noon, Women’s 800-meter freestyle heat, Men’s 50-meter freestyle heats; 12:26 p.m., Women’s 800-meter freestyle heats; 1:14 p.m., Men’s 100-meter butterfly heats; 1:34 p.m., Women’s 200-meter backstroke heats.

EVENING SESSION: 9 p.m., Men’s 50-meter freestyle semifinals; 9:17 p.m., Women’s 200-meter breaststroke final; 9:26 p.m., Men’s 200-meter backstroke final; 9:32 p.m., Women’s 200-meter backstroke semifinals; 10:01 p.m., Men’s 200-meter individual medley final; 10:18 p.m., Women’s 100-meter freestyle final; 10:31 p.m., Men’s 100-meter butterfly semifinals.

DAY 7: FRIDAY

AFTERNOON SESSION: Noon, Women’s 50-meter freestyle heats; 12:38 p.m., Men’s 1500-meter freestyle heats; 2:28 p.m., Women’s 4×100-meter medley relay heats; 2:46 p.m., Men’s 4×100-meter medley relay heats.

EVENING SESSION: 9:03 p.m., Women’s 200-meter backstroke final; 9:12 p.m., Men’s 100-meter butterfly final; 9:20 p.m., Women’s 800-meter freestyle final; 9:44 p.m., Men’s 50-meter freestyle final; 9:56 p.m., Women’s 50-meter freestyle semifinals.

DAY 8: SATURDAY

EVENING SESSION: 9:03 p.m., Women’s 50-meter freestyle final; 9:11 p.m., Men’s 1500-meter freestyle; 9:49 p.m., Women’s 4×100-meter medley relay final; 10:04 p.m., Men’s 4×100-meter medley relay final.

Open water swimming is Aug. 15, Monday, 8 a.m., Women’s 10K; Aug. 16, Tuesday, 8 a.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

From Olympics To Futures, Big Week Of Swimming Ahead For SOFLO Swimmers


By Sharon Robb

While all eyes will be on four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson and her quest to win her first Olympic medal and first-time Olympians Timothy Wynter and Jorge Murillo-Valdes this weekend in Rio de Janeiro, their South Florida Aquatic Club teammates will also be competing in Minnesota, North Carolina and Georgia.

Claire Donahue and Marc Rojas will compete at the Aug. 2-6 U.S. Open in Minneapolis.

Rojas is entered in Wednesday’s 200-meter breaststroke (2:18.97) and Donahue in Thursday’s 100-meter butterfly (58.08) on Thursday.

The five-day Southern Zone Age Group Championships also begin at Triangle Aquatic Center, hosted by TAC Titans Swim Team in Cary, N.C.

The zone championships feature top regional swimmers at the senior and age group levels who qualify for these meets within the four designated zones (Eastern, Central, Southern and Western.)

SOFLO’s Paige Lane, Sebastian Lares, Leonardo Mateus and Juan Serna are members of the Florida Gold Coast zone team.

The fourth meet of the week is the Aug. 4-7 Futures Championships at Georgia Tech’s McCauley Aquatic Center in Atlanta.

This is the second year of existence for the meet designed to bridge the gap between sectional meets and junior nationals. The gap has grown in recent years as junior level swimmers have become faster, requiring faster time standards to keep a reasonable number of participants. The meet is designed for swimmers to make the leap to junior nationals. This year the series went from three to four meets.

The other Futures meets are being hosted by College Park, Md., Austin, Tex. and Stanford, Calif. The sites are chosen to help reduce travel and costs for many participants.

SOFLO will have a large contingent of swimmers at the Futures meet. They are Max Asnis, Ryan Capote, Kathleen Golding, Kelley Heron, CJ Kopecki, Luke Lezotte, Ervin Marin, Melissa Marinheiro, Ricardo Roche, Jessica Rodriguez, Rafael Rodriguez, Emiliano Pelaez and Rojas.

Golding, 15, a U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier, will compete in five events: 200 freestyle (2:07.97), 100 butterfly (1:03.28), 50 freestyle (26.78), 400 freestyle (4:26.97) and 100 freestyle (57.55). Golding is seeded third in the 100 freestyle.

Marinheiro, 19, will compete in four events: 200, 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles. Marinheiro is seeded seventh in the 1500.

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Settles For Silver On Day Two Of FINA/Airweave World Cup Series In Tokyo


By Sharon Robb

October 29, 2015—Alia Atkinson of the South Florida Aquatic Club returned to the medal podium on Day Two of the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series Thursday at Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center.

The three-time Jamaican Olympian, after failing to make the 100-meter breaststroke final, placed second in the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.79. Atkinson was the top seed after morning prelims in 30.86.

American Molly Hannis, winner of the 100 breaststroke and second seed in the sprint event in 30.93, won in 30.63. Aussie Leiston Pickett was third in 30.88.

In the 50-meter butterfly, Atkinson tied for eighth in 27.55 with Japan age group swimmer Asuka Kobayashi. Atkinson chose not to swim the swim-off.

In other championship finals:

Japan’s Rikako Ikee and Miki Uchida finished one-two in the 100-meter freestyle in 54.14 and 54.24 respectively. Hungarian Katinka Hosszu was third in 54.39. Ikee and Uchida also went one-two in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.17, a new junior world record, and 26.23.

Japan swept the top three spots in the men’s 200-meter freestyle with top seed Yuuki Kobori winning in 1:47.59.

South African Cameron Van der Burgh continued to dominate the breaststroke events by winning the 100-meter breaststroke in 59.97. American Kevin Cordes was fourth in 1:01.35.

Aussie Christopher Wright won the 100-meter butterfly in 52.77. American Tom Shields was third in 52.83, just .01 out of second.

Emily Seebohm of Australia won the 100-meter backstroke in 58.37. It was her eighth consecutive World Cup win in the event and her second-fastest time this year. Hosszu was second in 1:00.01.

American David Plummer won the 50-meter backstroke in 24.58, third fastest time in the world this year. U.S. swimmer Michael Andrew was third in 25.30.

Japan world champion Natsumi Hoshi won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:08.13.

Japan’s Hiromasa Fujimori won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:59.76 to lead another top three sweep by Japan swimmers.

Hosszu picked up her first win of the day in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:08.87.

Japanese national record holder Katsumi Nakamura won the 50-meter freestyle in 22.15. American Anthony Ervin was third in 22.56.

Rie Kaneto of Japan won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:23.01.

World champion Mitch Larkin of Australia won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:53.34, both a national and Commonwealth record.

Japan dominated the men’s 1500-meter freestyle with Ayatsugu Hirai winning in 15:16.39 followed by Syogo Takeda in 15:16.76 and Yousuke Miyamoto in 15:20.69.

Hosszu won her second gold medal of the day in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:37.26.

This is the third and final cluster that finishes in Doha and Dubai next week. The Doha event is No. 2-3 and Dubai is Nov. 6-7.

Pine Crest All-American swimmer Marta Ciesla will represent the U.S. in the final two meets in the Middle East. She is foregoing this week’s region and next week’s state meets to represent her country.

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.

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