Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson returned to action at the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup 2016 tour in Beijing with yet another impressive display in the breaststroke sprint events.
Racing in the 100 metre breaststroke event Alia had the only sub 30 second 50 metre split of the field at 29.92 . She used that early advantage to take the win in 1:03.42. In taking Gold, Alia, who is sponsored by Rainforest Seafoods, beat back the challenges of World Cup Tour rivals American Katie Meili 1:04.00 and Russian Yulia Efimova. With that win she continues a winning streak from 2013. She also produced her best effort of that streak in the SCM (short course metre) pool in the Chinese capital.
That dominance would continue in the shorter sprint the 50 metre breaststroke. Alia, who also enjoys the sponsorship of National Bakery, won the race in 29.15. She again beat to the wall Efimova 29.66 and Meili 29.92.That performance was the 2nd fastest performance of her 2016-2017 so far. It also equalled her best performance in Beijing.
Grace Kennedy Money Services who has been a partner to Atkinson in her career continued to reap great benefits from the association as Alia was on the medal podium in the individual medley events. In the 200 metre individual medley she used a strong back half of the event to move from 7th to claim Bronze in a time of 2:09.60.She was a mere .03 of second away from winning the Silver medal.
In the 100 metre individual medley she moved from the very back of the field in the final to claim Bronze once again. Her time in that final was 59.60.
Alia had her best placing in the 5o metre butterfly in China when she placed 4th in the final in a time of 26.30.
She made another final in the 50 metre backstroke where she placed 8th in a time of 29.66. Atkinson had earlier clocked 28.23 in the heats.The 200 metre breaststroke heats saw her positioned as the 6th fastest seed but she scratched the final.
Alia had the following thoughts about her performances on the Beijing leg of the tour
“”It felt good to rejoin the World Cup in Bejing. I was relaxed after the short break and went out strong for my breaststroke events. I achieved commendable times and was satisfied with the results in my other entries. Placing third overall after China is gratifying and I look forward to the rest of the cluster