Five South Florida, Florida Gold Coast Swimmers Will Compete At Commonwealth Games


By Sharon Robb
BIRMINGHAM, England, July 26, 2022–Five swimmers with South Florida and Florida Gold Coast connections will compete in the XXII Commonwealth Games at Sandwell Aquatic Center.

The meet begins Friday and ends Wednesday, August 3.

Azura Florida Aquatics is sending three swimmers: St. Andrew’s School alum Sidrell Williams of Jamaica, Kito Campbell of Jamaica and Jayhan Odlum-Smith of St. Lucia.

Two-time Olympian Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Plantation American Heritage alum and St. Andrew’s School alum and Florida State’s Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas will also compete.

Seven reigning world champions will compete including Ben Proud, Elijah Winnington, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Mollie O’Callaghan, Kylie Masse, Kaylee McKeown and Summer McIntosh.

Other notables competing are Adam Peaty, Ariarne Titmus, Emma McKeon, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Duncan Scott and Maggie MacNeil.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place at Alexander Stadium on Thursday with all 72 countries within the Commonwealth. While the Closing Ceremony is scheduled to take place on 8 August 2022, with all 72 countries returning to Alexander Stadium.

Commonwealth Games Federation’s Executive Board has included 3 new sports namely Women’s T20 cricket, beach volleyball, and Para table tennis for the 2022 edition of the Commonwealth Games.

ESPN, BBC and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will live stream the events on their platforms. Prelims are 10:30 a.m. local time (5:30 a.m. EST) and finals 7 p.m. (2 p.m. EST).

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

Alia Atkinson Named FINA Athletes’ Committee Chair; Dylan Carter Selected For Committee


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 30, 2022—Five-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson was elected the first-ever chair of FINA’s Athletes’ Committee at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships.

The former longtime South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer was among 20 athletes elected by their peers from their aquatic sport with six athletes later appointed and six others named honorary members by FINA, the international swimming federation. The sports represented are synchronized swimming, diving, high diving, open water swimming, swimming and water polo.

Atkinson, a four-time gold medalist at the World Swimming Championships (25-meters), will serve a four-year term. Voting took place by electronic ballots throughout the championships. Atkinson, 33, and six others ran unopposed.

“Today marks another significant step forward for both FINA and all aquatics athletes,” Atkinson said. “The Athletes’ Committee will act as a critical link between athletes and FINA.

“Having the athlete community choose those who represent them in important decisions is critical for the future development of our beloved sport.”

Atkinson’s final competitive meet was the 2021 15th FINA Short Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi.

British diver Jack Laugher, a three-time Olympic medalist, was named vice-chair of the committee.

The elected contingent includes nine other swimmers: former Plantation American Heritage swimmer Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago; Therese Alshammar of Sweden, Ireland’s Shane Ryan, Hong Kong’s Siobhán Haughey, Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan, Australia’s Jessica Hansen, Papua New Guinea’s Ryan Pini, Uganda’s Jamila Nsibambi Lunkuse and Matthew Sates of South Africa.

The second diving representative elected was Maria Polyakova of Russia, a former European champion in the women’s 1-meter springboard.

Synchronized swimming is represented by Egypt’s Nehal Saafan and Bill May of the U.S. Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha, who used to train in Davie, and the Netherlands’ Ferry Weertman will represent open water swimming.

Anna Bader of Germany and Alain Kohl of Luxembourg were elected to represent high diving, along with water polo players Margarita Plevritou of Greece and Felipe Perrone Rocha of Spain.

“Athletes are the heartbeat of aquatics,” said FINA President Husain Al-Musallam. “There is no sport without athletes. This is why I am so proud to be part of these historic elections.

“With equal gender representation and athletes from all six continents across all disciplines, I have no doubt that those elected will strengthen and promote the athletes’ voice for the benefit of the entire aquatics community.”

Britain’s three-time Olympic and eight-time World Championship swimming gold medalist Adam Peaty was among the six current athletes appointed by Al-Musallam to join the Athletes’ Committee. Hungary’s Dániel Gyurta and Italy’s Federica Pellegrini are also set to serve on the panel as elected members of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission.

The Athletes’ Committee is responsible for offering input into the organization of the World Championships and the development of technical rules, and is designed to serve as the “athletes’ voice in aquatics sport”.

This is Musallam’s first World Championships as President, which was marked by FINA’s decision to require transgender athletes to have completed transition by the age of 12 to be eligible for women’s events.

OPEN WATER SWIMMING: Florida’s Anna Auld Seventh In 25K

Brazilian Ana Cunha, who once trained in Davie, won a close race in the women’s 25K at the 19th FINA World Championships in 5:24:15.0. She was followed by Lea Boy of Germany, 5:24:15.2 and Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands, 5:24:15.3. University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach, representing the U.S., was seventh in 5:26:25 among a field of 15 swimmers.

Italy’s Dario Verani won the men’s 25K title in 5:02:21 followed by Axel Raymond of France, 5:02:22 and Hungary’s Peter Galicz, 5:02:35. Azura’s Maximiliano Paccot of Uruguay was unable to finish after swimming for 1:34:08 among a field of 25 swimmers.

In the men’s 10K, Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy’s won in 1:50:56 followed by teammate Domencio Acerenza, 1:50:58 and Germany’s Florian Wellbrock, 1:51:11. Azura’s Jahir Lopez of Ecuador was 46th in 2:03:23 and Maximiliano Paccot of Uruguay was 48th in 2:05:01.

In the women’s 10K, Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands won in 2:02:29.2 followed by Leonie Beck of Germany, 2:02:29.7 and Cunha, 2:02:30. American Katie Grimes was fifth in 2:02:37.

In the men’s 5K, Germany’s Florian Wellbrock won in 52:48 followed by Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri, 52:52 and Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine, 53:13. Azura’s Maximiliano Paccot of Uruguay was 41st in 59:43.

In the women’s 5K, Cunha also won in 57:52 followed by Aurelie Muller of France in 57:53 and Italy’s Giulia Gabbreilleschi in 57:54. University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach was 20th in 1:00:57. Azura’s Fatima Portillo, 19, of El Salvador was 37th in 1:04:56.

In the opening event, the 6K mixed relay, Germany (1:04:40), Hungary (1:04:43.0) and Italy (1:04:43.0) were the top three finishers. The U.S. finished seventh in 1:05:50. Twenty-three nations competed.

CARIBBEAN GAMES
The historic inaugural Caribbean Games are underway in Guadeloupe. More than 800 athletes from 29 countries began competing on Thursday. Seven sports over five days are being held. The event is being televised on Panam Sports Channel.

Panam Sports President Neven Ilic watched with sport leaders throughout the continent and wished the athletes nothing but success during the Games.

“It’s nice to see the joy of the athletes parading. They are the future of our sport and our work must focus largely on them, on the new generations. We started with the Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games, then came the Rosario 2022 Youth South American Games and now the Caribbean has its own celebration of U-23 sport. I congratulate CANOC and Guadalupe for this fantastic and historic party and wish much success to the enthusiastic athletes.”

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Takes Third Win, Carter Wins First ISL Event For London Roar; Energy Standard Wins Match


By Sharon Robb
NAPLES, Italy, September 19, 2021—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson walked away with three wins in two days after the ISL’s season three Match Eight Sunday at Piscina Felice Scandone.

Atkinson, 32, a five-time Jamaican Olympian, won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.93 ahead of Kanako Watanabe of Tokyo Frog Kings in 1:04.70 and a slow field. Atkinson had the only sub-1:04.

London teammate Dylan Carter, an American Heritage alum from Trinidad & Tobago, won the 50-meter butterfly in 22.40 and picked up 10 points.

Energy Standard’s team of Evgeny Rylov, Ilya Shymanovich, Anastasia Shkurdai and Sarah Sjostrom shattered the league record for the mixed 400-meter medley relay by nearly two seconds in 3:31.96 and picked up 38 points. The previous record was 3:33.81 by the LA Current earlier this season.

Atkinson was also a member of the runner-up 400-meter medley relay that finished in 3:34.53 with teammates Guilherme Guido, Emma McKeon and Kyle Chalmers.

The Energy Standard, leading after Day One, hung on to take the match with 507 points. London was second with 486.5, LA Current, 395.5 and Tokyo Frog Kings, 379.

The London Roar will next compete on Sept. 23-24 in Match 9 and 10 against Energy Standard, Toronto Titans and DC Trident.

In other ISL news, two-time Olympian Madi Wilson of LA Current dropped out of Match 8 after testing positive for COVID-19. She was vaccinated before the Tokyo Olympics. She made the announcement on social media from her Naples hospital bed.

Seven-time Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel of the defending champions Cali Condors has decided to sit out the remainder of the ISL regular season. According to a team spokesperson, he has not been feeling well and has decided to rest for the playoffs. There are only two matches left in the regular season and play-in match. The Cali Condors and LA Current have already earned spots in the playoffs.

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Twice For London Roar On Opening Day Of ISL Match Eight


By Sharon Robb
NAPLES, Italy, September 18, 2021–In the eighth match of the International Swimming League’s third season, SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson opened with a win in the 50-meter breaststroke Saturday at Piscina Felice Scandone.

Atkinson, 32, five-time Jamaican Olympian, won in 29.47 ahead of Benedetta Pilato of Energy Standard in 29.51. Atkinson is the world short course record holder in the event (28.56). It was her seventh 50 breaststroke win.

Atkinson was also a member of the winning 400-meter medley relay that won in 3:48.04, just 1/100th of a second ahead of LA Current in 3:48.05. She was joined by teammates Kira Toussaint, Emma McKeon and Marie Wattel out-touching Abbey Weitzeil on the final leg.

London came up with 30 points winning the 400-meter freestyle relay in 3:05.84 including a second leg split of 45.91 by Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago. Carter was also sixth in the 50-meter backstroke in 23.81.

After opening day action, ISL season one league champion Energy Standard leads with 282 points followed by the London Roar, 260, Tokyo Frog Kings, 182 and LA Current, 180. After three matches, Energy Standard is the only undefeated team in the league.

Second day action continues Sunday at noon-2 p.m. EST.

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

Atkinson Takes Third, Fourth, Sixth In London Roar’s Sixth Match Of ISL Pro Series


By Sharon Robb
NAPLES, Italy, September 11, 2021–SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson had three top six finishes in the ISL London Roar’s sixth match of the season Saturday at Piscina Felice Scandone.

The five-time Jamaican Olympian was sixth in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:22.11. Lilly King of the Cali Condors won in 2:16.83.

Atkinson was fourth in the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.82. Arianna Castiglioni of the Centurions won in 29.46. King was second in 29.62.

Atkinson salvaged the day with a third place finish on the 400-meter medley relay in 3:50.43 behind the Cali Condors and Aqua Centurions.

London teammate Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago was a member of the winning 400-meter freestyle relay that won in 3:05.05.

After Day One, the London Roar is first with 277 points followed by reigning ISL champion Cali Condors with 263.5, Tokyo Frog Kings, 187.0 and Aqua Centurions, 181.5. Action will continue on Sunday with the same four teams.

Earlier in the week in the ISL’s fifth match of the season, Alberto Razzetti broke the oldest Italian short course record in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:01.57. The Toronto Titans swimmer broke the previous record if 4:01.71 by Luca Marin at the 2006 European Championships.

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