Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson returned to international competition after a less than satisfactory showing at the Rio Olympics. In an Instagram post the World record holder in the 100 metre breaststroke said
“Many thanks to my Jamaican people and world supporters. From the bottom of my heart, you have all lifted me higher than I thought I could be. I am moving on and upwards. Worlds Short Course, 2016, coming up, I will not disappoint, I promise”. Through her spokesperson Mr Tweedsmuir Atkinson she also expressed special appreciation to her sponsors Rainforest Seafoods, GKMS and National Bakery for all their efforts in supporting her swimming.
In her very first final of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup 2016 series of the first stop in Paris being held in 25 metre pool she delivered by equaling her own world record. After cruising through the morning heats with a time of 1:04.89 she was seeded second in the final. There she was joined by the fastest from the morning American Katie Meili who had the top heats swim of 1:04.49. Also in the final was the dangerous Russian Yulia Efimova , American Breeja Larson and Japanese swimmer Rie Kaneto.
In the final she had the 2nd fastest reaction to the gun of 0.63 of a second. At that point it ended being a contest. She blasted through the first 50 metres with a split time of 29.33 more than half a second of a quality field. Her last 50 metres was almost 32 seconds as she split 33.03. Her final time and crushing win was 1:02.36 equalling her World record time done in Doha on December 6, 2014.Silver went to American Meili in 1:03.52 and the Bronze to Efimova in 1:04.14.
Buoyed her fantastic efforts she scratched the 50 metre backstroke final to provide a greater challenge for the Gold in the 200 metre individual medley. In the final she faced friend and World record holder “ The Iron Lady” Katinka Hosszu. The national record holder in this event trailed in 6th place for the first 2 legs of butterfly and backstroke before she unleashed a 34.91 breaststroke leg before and found herself again in medal contention. She pushed on the freestyle to with a 30.34 split to hit the wall in 2:07.89 and win the Silver. That time just missed her national record of 2:07.30. The Gold was won by the Hosszu in a time of 2:06.64.