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

SOFLO’s Atkinson Wins Gold On Day Two Of FINA Swimming World Cup


By Sharon Robb

SINGAPORE, August 16, 2019—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson held off a surging American Breeja Larson to win the 100-meter breaststroke Friday on Day Two of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2019 at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

The four-time Jamaican Olympian won her signature event in 1:07.35 ahead of Larson in 1:07.55. Atkinson was slower than last week’s 1:07.0 in China. Both are Texas A&M alums and NCAA champions.

She was seeded second after prelims behind top seed Larson, 1:07.53-1:09.19.

Atkinson is already qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the 100 breaststroke. She qualified by .01. The qualifying standard is 1:07.06.

Russian Vladimir Morozov broke two world records in the 50-meter backstroke in 24.40 that would have won gold at the FINA World Championships and 100-meter freestyle in 47.88

Atkinson competes Saturday in the 50-meter breaststroke on the third and final day and third and final leg of the opening series cluster. A total of $314,000 in bonuses is available as the cluster ends in Singapore. Atkinson is fifth in the point standings with 36.

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

Two More World Records Fall, Le Clos Knocks Off Dressel On Day Three Of FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships; Atkinson Goes For Second Gold On Day Four


By Sharon Robb

HANGZHOU, China, December 13, 2018—Swimmers from Russia and United States broke world records Thursday on Day Three of the 14th FINA World Short Course Championships.

Kirill Prigoda of Russia won the 200-meter breaststroke in a world and championship record 2:00.16. The previous record was 2:00.44 set by Germany’s Marco Koch in November 2016. Prigoda’s best finish before his record performance was a bronze in Doha in 2014.

Prigoda’s record swim was only the second individual world record of the meet.

“I didn’t think about breaking the world record before the competition,” Prigoda said. “When I was standing in front of the pool, my mind was clear and my eyes focused on the water. I just wanted to swim faster and faster. I am happy that my parents were both swimmers and that I am their son. But during the day-to-day training, I just try to swim fast. I think this is why I am here, why I am in swimming, and why I will be here tomorrow and next year”.

The U.S. mixed 4×50-meter medley team broke the second world record. The team of Olivia Smoliga, Michael Andrew, Kelsi Worrell Dahlia and Caeleb Dressel broke the previous U.S. world record of 1:37.17 in 1:36.40. The Netherlands was second in 1:37.05 and Russia was third in 1:37.33.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club qualified third for the 100-meter individual medley final in 58.20. Hungarian world and championship record holder Katinka Hosszu is seeded first in 57.69 and Japan’s Runa Umai is second in 58.04. In addition to the 100IM, Atkinson also has the 100-meter breaststroke on Day Four.

In other Thursday finals:

In a thrilling showdown, South African Chad le Clos won his fourth consecutive gold medal beating American Caeleb Dressel in the 100-meter butterfly in 48.50. Dressel never challenged Le Clos to place second in 48.71. China’s Li Zhuhao was third in 49.25.

“It was the biggest race of my short course career,” Le Clos said. “I was up against the best field by far and this was the main event of the whole week. I am very grateful I got the gold, it was a tough race. I was anxious because I was waiting the whole day for this, the whole week and the past three months because I knew this one could come.

“After the first night, people thought I was winded and I have always told them that is the biggest mistake they can make because after I have lost I come back much stronger. Tonight was important. I needed the win tonight”.

Without American Katie Ledecky in the field, China’s Wang Jianjiahe breeze to the gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:04.35. The 16-year-old was under world record pace until the 350-meter mark. Simona Quadarella of Italy was second in 8:08.03 and American Leah Smith was third in 8:08.75.

Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands won the 100-meter freestyle in a championship record 51.14. Teammate Femke Heemskerk, the fastest qualifier, was second in 51.60. American Mallory Comerford was third in 51.63.

While Hungarian Katinka Hosszu faltered to fourth in the 200-meter backstroke, Americans Lisa Bratton (2:00.71) and Kathleen Baker (2:00.79) finished one-two. Aussie Emily Seebohm was third in 2:01.37.

“It is my first World Short Course Championships, I was nervous,” Bratton said. “After having to adjust my body from the long travel, I do feel good this week and expected to win a medal. I felt very excited tonight. I took these championships as an important experience to learn from those big names and to learn how to swim in short course”.

Other Florida swimmer results:

14. Dylan Carter, Trinidad and Tobago, American Heritage Plantation, 50-meter backstroke, 23.73; 34. 50-meter freestyle, 21.98.

30. Patrick Groters, Aruba, NSU University School/Pine Crest Swimming, 100-yard individual medley, 56.56.

55. Renzo Tjon-A-Joe, Surinam, Metro Aquatics, 50-meter freestyle, 22.52.

61. Jhonny Perez, Dominican Republic, Azura alum, 50-meter freestyle, 23.00.

The short course worlds are swum in short course meters and held in the years when FINA does not hold its world championships (currently this means in even years). The short course championship is swimming-only events where world championships feature all five aquatic disciplines.

A field of 960 swimmers, with several top names missing, from 178 countries are competing for 46 world titles over six days at the Hangzhou Olympic and International Expo Center Tennis Centre. The center is uniquely shaped like a lotus bowl with an 8,000-seat capacity.

Prelims are 9 a.m. in China, 8:30 p.m. EST in the U.S. Finals are 7 p.m. in China and 6 a.m. EST in the U.S.

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

Swim Fort Lauderdale’s Nikita Tretyakov Medals On Final Day Of FINA World Junior Championships


By Sharon Robb

INDIANAPOLIS, August 28, 2017—Nikita Tretyakov of Swim Fort Lauderdale won silver and bronze medals on the sixth and final day of the sixth FINA World Junior Swimming Championships Monday at Indiana University Natatorium.

The Russian national record holder, seeded fourth (2:00.21) after morning prelims of the 200-meter backstroke, placed third in a lifetime-best 1:58.72.

Tretyakov went out fast and was first at 100 meters and remained in medal contention down the stretch before being overtaken by American Carson Foster in the final 50 to finish in 1:57.87. Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez won gold in 1:56.69.

Tretyakov also led off Russia’s 4×100-meter medley relay that finished second in 3:36.30 behind Team USA that won in 3:36.15. Both teams broke the previous world junior and meet record of 3:36.44.

Also in the 200-meter backstroke, Pine Crest Swimming’s Patrick Groters of Aruba and University School, was 24th in 2:06.81.

Belen Jesuit junior Aitor Fungairino of Venezuela and Metro Aquatics was 27th in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:08.72.

Azura’s Jose Diaz of Honduras was 36th in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:19.38.

Miami Colombus senior Brandon Vives of the Dominican Republic and Metro Aquatics was 27th in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:07.74.

Pine Crest Swimming’s Andrea Santander of Venezuela was 32nd in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:05.75.

Among Monday’s other meet final performances:

Canada won the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay in a world junior and meet record 3:58.38. It was another come-from-behind win as the Canadians went three-for-three in relay victories.

Russian Ivan Girev won the 100-meter freestyle in a meet record 48.33. The previous record of 48.47 was set by 2016 Olympic gold medalist Kyle Chalmers.

Team USA placed one-two in the 200-meter breaststroke with Zoe Bartel in 2:25.68 and Ella Nelson in 2:27.04.

In her first of three swims, Japan’s Rikako Ikee won the 100-meter butterfly in a meet record 57.25. She also won the 50-meter freestyle in 24.59, another meet record.

American Andrew Abruzzo won the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:06.48 followed by teammate Michael Brinegar in 15:09.00.

Hungary’s Kristof Milak won the 200-meter butterfly in a meet record 1:53.87. He went out in 53.29.

Italian Nicolo Martinenghi won the 50-meter breaststroke in 27.10.

Canadian Taylor Ruck won the 200-meter freestyle in a meet record 1:57.08.

The U.S. men’s team won the 4×100-meter medley relay in a meet record 3:36.15.

The six-day meet, held every two years, featured 630 of the best boys, ages 14-17 and girls, ages 15-18, from 93 different countries.

Five-time Olympic champion Missy Franklin, 22, made an appearance at the meet, signed autographs and posed for selfies. The former Cal swimmer is coming off shoulder surgery.

“I’m not exactly sure where I’m at, but I’m perfectly ok with that,” Franklin told reporters. “I really enjoy getting back in the water and getting back to training again.”

MONDAY RESULTS

WOMEN

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Zoe Bartel, USA 2:25.68, 2. Ella Nelson, USA 2:27.04, 3. Annabel Guye-Johnson, Great Britain 2:27.42.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Rikako Ikee, Japan 57.25, meet record, 2. Rebecca Smith, Canada 58.07, 3. Suzuka Hasegawa, Japan 58.60.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Rikako Ikee, Japan 24.59, meet record, 2. Grace Ariola, USA 24.82, 3. Sayuki, Ouchi, Japan 25.07.

200-meter freestyle: 1. Taylor Ruck, Canada 1:57.08, meet record, 2. Ajna Kesely, Hungary 1:57.10, 3. Irina Krivonogova, Russia 1:58.51.

4×100-meter medley relay: 1. Canada 3:58.38, world junior, meet record (Jade Hannah, Faith Knelson, Penny Oleksiak, Taylor Ruck), 2. USA 3:59.19, 3. Japan 3:59.97.

MEN

100-meter freestyle: 1. Ivan Girev, Russia 48.33, 2. Nandor Nemeth, Hungary 48.95, 3. Matthew Willenbring, USA 49.17.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Hugo Gonzalez, Spain 1:56.69, 2. Carson Foster, USA 1:57.87, 3. Nikita Tretyakov, Russia 1:58.72.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Kristof Milak, Hungary 1:53.87, world junior, meet record, 2. Yuya Sakamoto, Japan 1:57.05, 3. Antani Ivanov, Bulgaria 1:57.54.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Andrew Abruzzo, USA 15:06.48, 2. Michael Brinegar, USA 15:09.00, 3. Iaroslav Potapov, Russia 15:09.18.

50-meter breaststroke: 1. Nicolo Martinenghi, Italy 27.10, 2. Alessandro Pinzuti, Italy 27.19, 3. Michael Andrew, USA 27.39.

4×100-meter medley relay: 1. USA 3:36.15, world junior, meet record (Drew Kibler, Reece Whitley, Cody Bybee, Matthew Willebring), 2. Russia 3:36.30, 3. Italy 3:36.44.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

FGC Swimmers Nikita Tretyakov Finishes Eighth; Patrick Groters Makes Top 16 On Day Two Of FINA World Junior Championships


By Sharon Robb

INDIANAPOLIS, August 24, 2017— Russian Nikita Tretyakov of Swim Fort Lauderdale was eighth in the final of the 100-meter backstroke on Day Two of the sixth FINA World Junior Swimming Championships Thursday at Indiana University Natatorium.

Tretyakov, 18, finished in 55.57. His splits were 26.66 and 28.91.

The Russian junior national champion had placed third in the 100-meter backstroke prelims in a lifetime-best 55.14 and seventh in the semifinals in 55.45 to advance into Thursday’s final. His previous best was 56.58.

Pine Crest Swimming’s Patrick Groters of Aruba made the Top 16 in the 200-meter individual medley prelims. Groters placed 14th in 2:04.73. It was just off his lifetime-best 2:04.69 which he was on pace to better at the 150-meter mark.

Other Florida Gold Coast swimmers:

Belen Jesuit senior Aitor Fungairino of Metro Aquatics representing Venezuela was 16th in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:50.60.

Andrea Santander, a sophomore at Pine Crest School and member of Pine Crest Swimming club team representing Venezuela, was 31st in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.93.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Jorge Depassier of Chile was 38th in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:54.55.

Miami Columbus senior Brandon Vives, representing the Dominican Republic, was 36th in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:11.13. He was also 41st in the 100-meter butterfly in 56.95.

Tuesday’s lineup featured eleven events. Among top performances:

American Regan Smith broke the world and meet record (59.28) set in the semifinals by Canadian Taylor Ruck to win in 59.11. The much-anticipated final had five swimmers breaking a minute. Ruck was second in 59.23.

Russian Ivan Girov broke the world junior (1:47.00) and meet record (1:47.55) in the 200-meter freestyle to win in 1:46.40.

Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez broke the meet record of 54.30 in the 100-meter backstroke to win in 54.27.

Emily Large of Great Britain won the 200-meter butterfly in a meet record 2:07.74. The previous record was 2:08.10 set in 2008 by Japan’s Natsuki Akiyama.

Germany’s Johannes Hintze lowered the meet record of 1:59.44 set by American Gunnar Bentz in 2013 to win the 200-meter individual medley in 1:59.03.

Argentina’s Delfina Pignatiello won the 800-meter freestyle in a meet record 8:25.22. The previous mark was 8:27.55.

American Emily Weiss won the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.78.

The six-day meet, held every two years, features 630 of the best boys, ages 14-17 and girls, ages 15-18, from 93 different countries.

Morning heats are 9:30 a.m. and semifinals and finals 6 p.m.

The semifinals and finals are being broadcast by the Olympic Channel via the NBC Sports App at 6 p.m. each day and webcast on nbcsports.com. The FINA live stream is not available in the U.S. and several other countries.

THURSDAY RESULTS

WOMEN

200-meter butterfly: 1. Emily Large, Great Britain 2:07.74, championship record; 2. Suzuka Hasegawa, Japan 2:08.29, 3. Keanna MacInnes, Great Britain 2:09.64.

50-meter breaststroke: 1. Emily Weiss, USA 30.78, 2. Faith Knelson, Canada 30.91, 3. Mona Lucille McSharry, Ireland 30.97.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Regan Smith, USA 59.11, world junior, championship records; 2. Taylor Ruck, Canada 59.23, 3. Jade Hannah, Canada 59.62.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Delfina Pignatiello, Argentina 8:25.22, championship record; 2. Ajna Kesely, Hungary 8:30.62, 3. A. Gestido Cons, Spain 8:30.85.

Mixed medley 4×100-meter relay: 1. Canada 3:46.36, 2. USA 3:46.80, 3. Russia 3:48.32.

MEN

100-meter backstroke: 1. Hugo Gonzalez, Spain 54.27, championship record; 2. Conor Ferguson, Ireland 54.51, 3. Daniel Martin, Romania 54.55.

200-meter freestyle: 1. Ivan Girev, Russia 1:46.40, world junior, championship record; 2. Nandor Nemeth, Hungary 1:46.79, 3. Elijah Winnington, Australia 1:46.81.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Nicolo Martinenghi, Italy 59.58, 2. Reece Whitley, USA 1:00.08, 3. Michael Andrew, USA 1:00.37.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Johannes Hintze, Germany 1:59.03, world junior and championship records; 2. Kleran Smith, USA 1:59.56, 3. Marton Barta, Hungary 2:00.14.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com
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Florida Gold Coast Swimmers Shine On International Stage: Patrick Groters Breaks National Record; Nikita Tretyakov Advances Into Final At FINA World Junior Championships


By Sharon Robb

August 23, 2017—Pine Crest Swimming’s Patrick Groters of Aruba broke a national record on opening day of the sixth FINA World Junior Swimming Championships Wednesday at Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.

In his opening event, Groters broke his own national record in the 100-meter backstroke in a lifetime-best 57.02 that ranks him 17th in the world. His
previous best was 57.17. His splits were 27.53 and 29.49.

Groters finished fifth in his heat of the 100-meter backstroke and just missed the Top 16 and semifinal swim.

Two years ago at junior worlds in Singapore, Groters finished 44th in 59.88 with splits of 28.86 and 31.02.

Groters, a senior, is headed into his final high school season at University School. Last year he was a state champion in the 100-yard backstroke and runner-up in the 200-yard individual medley.

Russian Nikita Tretyakov of Swim Fort Lauderdale finished third in the 100-meter backstroke prelims in a lifetime-best 55.14 and seventh in the semifinals in 55.45 to advance into Thursday’s finals. His previous best was 56.58. The Russian junior national champion is headed to University of Southern California after the meet.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Jose Diaz of Honduras finished 42nd in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:04.34. His splits were 30.48 and 33.86. He has the 200-meter backstroke and 100-meter freestyle remaining.

Andrea Santander, a sophomore at Pine Crest School, member of Pine Crest Swimming Club team and representing Venezuela was 27th in the 400-meter individual medley in 5:03.11.

The six-day meet, held every two years, features 630 of the best boys, ages 14-17 and girls, ages 15-18, from 93 different countries.

Two individual and two relay final events were held Wednesday in addition to semifinals for the women’s 50-meter breaststroke, men’s and women’s 100-meter backstroke, men’s 100-meter breaststroke.

Canada (Kayla Sanchez, Penny Oleksiak, Rebecca Smith, Taylor Ruck) broke the junior world and championship records in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay in 7:51.47. The previous record was 7:56.68 set by Australia in 2015.

Hungary won the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay in 3:17.99. Poland took the silver in 3:18.53.

Other Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing are:

Azura Florida Aquatics Jorge Depassier of Chile is entered in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter freestyle.

Amarsanaa Ganbaatar of Mongolia will swim the 100-meter freestyle and 200-meter breaststroke.

Morning heats are 9:30 a.m. and semifinals and finals 6 p.m.

The semifinals and finals are being broadcast by the Olympic Channel via the NBC Sports App at 6 p.m. each day and webcast on nbcsports.com. The FINA live stream is not available in the U.S. and several other countries.

WEDNESDAY FINAL RESULTS

WOMEN

400-meter individual medley: 1. Miku Kojima, Japan 4:39.14, 2. Anna Sasaki, Japan 4:40.99, 3. Anja Crevar, Serbia 4:42.24.

4×200-meter freestyle relay: 1. Canada 7:51.47, 2. Russia 7:57.33, 3. Japan 8:02.09.

MEN

400-meter freestyle: 1. Andrew Abruzzo, USA 3:49.19, 2. Balasz Hollo, Hungary 3:49.97, 3. Trey Freeman, USA 3:50.14.

4×100-meter freestyle relay: 1. Hungary 3:17.99, 2. Poland 3:18.53, 3. Australia 3:18.55.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

Katie Ledecky Wins Fourth Gold Medal On Day Five Of XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships; SOFLO’s Atkinson, Colorado Compete Friday


By Sharon Robb

August 6, 2015—Teenager Katie Ledecky added to her gold medal haul Thursday at the XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships at Kazan Arena.

After winning the 200, 400 and 1500-meter freestyle individual events, Ledecky, 18, anchored Team USA’s winning 800-meter freestyle relay.

It was the team’s third straight 800 relay world title, aided mostly by lead-off swimmer Missy Franklin and Ledecky, joined by Leah Smith and Katie McLaughlin.

“We went in and we knew the field would be so-so tough,” Franklin said. “I think we have a lot of confidence in this relay, having this been our third time winning it. We are so grateful and so honored. There was an incredible race out there tonight.”

Ledecky had the fastest split of 1:55.64 to enable Team USA to win by three seconds in 7:45.37. It was Ledecky’s eighth career world title.

Italy took the silver medal in 7:48.41 thanks to a 1:54.73 anchor leg by Federico Pellegrini. China earned the bronze in 7:49.10.

Franklin equaled Katie Hoff’s record of three gold medals in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

Franklin also qualified for the final in the 100-meter freestyle securing the eighth and final spot in 53.92 just ahead of Canadian Chantal Van Landeghem in 53.93.

In performances by swimmers with Florida-ties:

Iceland’s Hilda Luthersdottir of Gator Swim Club tied for eighth in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:23.06 to force a swim-off with China’s Shi Jinglin to advance into finals. Jinglin won the swim-off, 2:23.75-2:25.11.

In championship finals:

Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi won her first world title in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:05.56, third-fastest time in the world. Hoshi teetered between third and fourth for most of the race until she surged down the final stretch. American Cammile Adams won her first world medal, taking second in a best time 2:06.40. China’s Zhang Yufei took the bronze in 2:06.51, also a best time bettering her own world junior record. American Katie McLaughlin, 18, finished sixth in 2:06.95, a new 17-18 U.S. national age group record.

China’s Fu Yuanhui won the gold medal in the 50-meter backstroke in 27.11. She came close to breaking the world record but bumped into the lane line at the finish. Brazilian Etiene Medeiros took the silber in 27.26, a Brazilian and South American record. China’s Liu Xiang took the bronze in 27.58.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson, three-time Jamaican Olympian, will go for her second medal when she competes in the 50-meter butterfly heats. SOFLO teammate Carolina Colorado of Colombia and Kenya’s Talisa Lanoe of PAQ will compete in the 200-meter backstroke heats.

Friday women’s events are: 50-meter butterfly heats and semifinals; 200-meter backstroke heats and semifinals; 800-meter freestyle heat; 100-meter freestyle final; and 200-meter breaststroke final.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

Lochte Gets Another Shot At Medal Wednesday At XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships


By Sharon Robb

August 4, 2015—After finishing a disappointing fourth in the 200-meter freestyle, Ryan Lochte will get another shot at an individual medal in the 200-meter individual medley at the XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships at Kazan Arena.

Lochte, 31, of Daytona Beach, the world and meet record holder and defending world champion in the 200 IM, competes Wednesday in the prelims.

The Florida alum is the top seed in one of his signature events and will compete next to U.S. teammate and former training partner and Florida alum Conor Dwyer in the fifth heat.

Lochte was the top seed after the semifinals of the 200-meter freestyle but couldn’t find another gear in the closing meters of the race.

Nineteen-year-old British swimmer James Guy shocked the men’s freestyle field with his impressive gold medal victory in 1:45.14. Yang Sun of China took the silver in 1:45.20 and world record holder Paul Biedemann settled for the bronze in 1:45.38.

Guy edged Yang by 6/100ths of a second to win his biggest title in swimming. Guy was second to Yang in the 400-meter freestyle on Sunday.

“I never thought I’d race Ryan Lochte head-to-head like that, he is one of my heroes,” said an emotional Guy, who jumped on the lane line and punched the air with his fist after the race.

“So to race him was amazing and to touch my hand on the wall first and be world champion hasn’t sunk in quite yet. I’m so happy. Coming in, I didn’t think that I would make the final of the 200 but I knew I had done some good sessions out in Majorca and back at home.”

Florida’s Jan Switkowski of Poland qualified for the 200-meter butterfly final. The Virginia Tech transfer was sixth in the semifinals in 1:55.42.

Two other swimmers with Florida ties were less fortunate.

South African Sebastien Rousseau of Gator Swim Club was 11th in the 200-meter butterfly heat in

1:56.29. Bolles alum Joseph Schooling of Singapore was 13th in his 200-meter butterfly heat in 1:56.85.

Both failed to get out of the semifinals. Schooling was tenth in 1:56.11 and Rousseau was 13th in

1:56.96.

Colombian Jorge Murillo Valdes of South Florida Aquatic Club was 23rd in the 50-meter breaststroke

in 27.99. Aruba’s Jordy Groters of Pine Crest Swimming was 41st in 28.64.

In the 50-meter breaststroke semifinals, Brit Adam Peaty set a world record in 26.42. Peaty broke the record of 26.62 set by Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa in Tuesday morning prelims.

In Tuesday’s other championship final:

Aussie Mitch Larkin, 22, continued his country’s domination of the world championships by winning the 100-meter backstroke final in 52.40.

Larkin knocked off world and Olympic champion Matt Grevers of Team USA. France’s Camille Lacourt took the silver and Grevers had to settle for the bronze.

Larkin is only the third swimmer in history to own both the short and long course world 100-meter backstroke titles.

“It was amazing, I want to do it again,” Larkin said. “This is the moment that you dream of.”

Wednesday’s men’s events are 100-meter freestyle heats and semifinals; 200-meter individual medley heats and semifinals; mixed medley 4×100-meter relay; 200-meter butterfly final; men’s 50-meter breaststroke final and 800-meter freestyle.

The 4×100-meter mixed medley relay makes its debut at the world championships. Former Bolles swimmer Ryan Murphy and U.S. Olympic gold medalist Claire Donahue of South Florida Aquatic Club are expected to swim either in the heats or finals.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson Makes History On Day Three Of XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships


By Sharon Robb

August 4, 2015—Alia Atkinson enjoyed one of her finest moments in swimming Tuesday at the XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships at Kazan Arena.

The three-time Jamaican Olympian became the first Jamaican swimmer in history to win a long course world championship medal.

Against the best breaststrokers in the world, Atkinson took a bronze medal in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:06.42, just off her new national record of 1:06.21 she set in Monday’s semifinals to earn the third seed and just 0.76 out of first.

Russia’s Yuliya Efimova won the gold medal in 1:05.66 and Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte took the silver medal in 1:06.36. Iceland’s Hilda Luthersdottir of Gator Swim Club was sixth in 1:07.10.

Efimova won her first major international gold medal just five months after completing a 16-month suspension for steroids.

Atkinson, the reigning world short course champion and record holder, is the only Jamaican swimmer to win medals in both the long course and short course world championships.

Atkinson had never medaled at a major international long course meet other than the Pan American Games (silver) and Commonwealth Games (bronze).

“It’s been part of the plan since the Short Course World Championships,” said her longtime coach Chris Anderson of South Florida Aquatic Club. “We worked on controlling her emotions and progressing through the rounds from prelims to semifinals and melding in the finals.

“This is a huge step with 367 days left to Rio,” said Anderson, also the Jamaican national coach. “Alia is on the right track.”

Atkinson was all smiles during the medal ceremony and on her way back to the Athletes Village where congratulatory cards and flowers were waiting for her.

“I am very proud of this bronze medal,” Atkinson said. “It’s not easy to go three rounds successfully. But to end off the third with a field full of the best breaststrokers in the world is a step in the right direction.”

In Tuesday’s championships finals:

Teenager Katie Ledecky lowered her own world record in the 1500-meter freestyle to win the gold medal in 15:25.48, less than 24 hours after breaking it in Monday’s qualifier in 15:27.71.

Ledecky built a 14.66-second cushion ahead of silver medalist Lauren Boyle of New Zealand in 15:50.15. Boglarka Kapas of Hungary took the bronze in 15:47.09.

Ledecky’s world record is 24 seconds faster than the men’s qualifying time of 15:49.99 for the 2016 U.S. Olympic trials.

Twenty-nine minutes later, Ledecky returned to the pool for the 200-meter freestyle semifinal which she finished third in her heat in 1:56.76. Her last 50-meter split was 30.25 enabling her to qualify sixth and make Wednesday’s final. Missy Franklin was top qualifier.

“It was a little nerve wracking being behind quite a few of those girls,” Ledecky said. “I just knew I had to finish hard and get my hand on the wall. I knew I could get my hand on the wall before a couple of those girls in my heat. My legs felt better than my arms so I knew I had to kick.

“That was a lot harder than I was hoping it would be,” Ledecky said. “I only have 2,000 meters left of racing this week.”

In the biggest shock of the day, Missy Franklin finished fifth in the 100-meter backstroke in 59.40. She was 1.14 seconds behind Aussie Emily Seebohm, winning her first individual world title in her fifth Worlds appearance in 58.26.

Franklin had a disastrous start and was in last place at the turn. Down the stretch she was unable to catch silver medalist Madison Wilson of Australia in 58.75 and bronze medalist Mie Oe Nielsen of Denmark in 58.86.

The U.S. has won only four medals in three days in Kazan with five days remaining. It is the lowest medal total at an Olympics or World Championships in the last 50 years dating back to the 1994 World Championships where the U.S. took home 21 medals.

Wednesday’s women’s events are 50-meter backstroke heats and semifinals; 200-meter butterfly heats and semifinal; mixed medley 4×100 relay heats and final; and 200-meter freestyle final.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Breaks Jamaican National Record On Day Two Of XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships


By Sharon Robb

August 3, 2015—Three-time Olympian Alia Atkinson broke the Jamaican national record in the 100-meter breaststroke semifinals Monday at the XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Against a stacked field that featured Russia’s Yuliya Efimova and Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, the South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer swam the third fastest time in 1:06.21 to advance into Tuesday’s final. Her previous national record was 1:06.59 she set at the Pan American Games two weeks ago when she won a silver medal.

Her times moves her into fourth in the world rankings.

The reigning world short course champion and record holder said she doesn’t feel any pressure headed into the finals.

If she wins a medal, however, she will be the first Jamaican swimmer to win a long course world championship medal. Atkinson has never medaled at a major international long course meet aside from Pan Ams and Commonwealth Games

“I was really nervous this year, thinking that I had to prove myself again and again,” Atkinson said. “I did that for Pan Ams, and it was okay, but coming into worlds I was totally relaxed.”

Her splits were 30.91 and 35.30.

“Until the 75 I was probably at 1:05 pace,” Atkinson said. “It’s just that last 15 meters that I need to work on for tomorrow.”

In a shocker, American Jessica Hardy self-destructed down the stretch with a 36.03 split and finished 10th overall in 1:07.22 to miss the finals.

Colombian and SOFLO teammate Carolina Colorado was 42nd in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:03.26.

In Monday’s championships finals three world records were broken:

“Iron Lady” Katinka Hosszu of Hungary broke her first long course world record and defended her title in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:06.12. Kanako Watanabe of Japan was second in 2:08.45 and Siobhan O’Connor of Great Britain was third in 2:08.77. The three-time Olympian scratched from the 100-meter backstroke semifinal to go after the record. “It’s crazy to even say I am the fastest ever,” said Hosszu, who frequently trains in South Florida. “This was my biggest goal.” Her splits were 27.30, 31.64, 36.70 and 30.48. It was her fourth world long course career title. Hosszu has five more events remaining.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom lowered her own world and course records and won the 100-meter butterfly in 55.64. She first broke it on Sunday in 55.74. Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark took the silver in 57.05 and Ying Lu of China took the bronze in 57.48. “I’m very happy, it’s always good to show myself I can improve in the finals even if there are more nerves,” Sjostrom said.

American teenager Katie Ledecky, 18, broke her own world record in the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:27.71, shaving 0.65 seconds off her previous record during the morning heats. It was the fourth time she broke the record in the 1500. “I’m in quite a bit of shock right now,” Ledecky said. “I was barely even focusing on this morning’s swim. I was so relaxed. I realized kind of toward the end because I could see people waving. It’s probably one of the coolest world records I’ve broken.”

A day after winning the 4×100-meter freestyle relay, Olympic champion Florent Manaudou of France won the 50-meter butterfly in 22.97. Brazilian Nicolas Santos took silver in 23.09 and Laszlo Cseh of Hungary and Konrad Czerniak of Poland tied for the bronze in 23.15.

Britain’s world record holder Adam Peaty won his first world title in the 100-meter breaststroke in 58.52, 7/100ths of a second ahead of Cameron Van Der Burgh of South Africa in 58.59. Britain’s Ross Murdoch took the bronze in 59.09. Peaty is only the second British an and first since 1975 to win a world title. “Very painful but I didn’t give up an inch,” Peaty said. “It counted in the back end.”

After two days of swimming, Great Britain leads the medal count with four overall and France leads in gold medals with two. The United States has one gold and one bronze medal.

Tuesday’s men’s events are 50-meter breaststroke heats and semifinals; 200-meter butterfly heats and semifinals; 200-meter freestyle final and men’s 100-meter backstroke.

Tuesday’s women’s events are 200-meter freestyle heats and semifinals; 100-meter backstroke final, 1500-meter freestyle and 100-meter breaststroke final.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com