Monday August 7 was celebrated as a public holiday for the 55th Independence Day for Jamaicans as the 6th of August fell on a Sunday. So after providing 200 scm breaststroke Gold for Independence on the actual day Alia Atkinson provided another emphatic 100 scm breaststroke Gold medal winning performance on the Monday as well.
Atkinson, the World Record holder in the event said she would make adjustments for the second stop of FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup 2017 tour. Those tweaks almost resulted in a world record. In the heats of the 100 scm breaststroke she was untroubled in posting the second fastest time of the qualifiers of 1:05.71 (30.71). In the finals she set off the fireworks from the starter’s gun. She reacted in a time of 0.62 equalling her fastest ever World Cup 100 scm breaststroke finals reaction time at the same venue in 2014. The contest for top honours was over by the first 50 metres as she took it out on the field in a time of 29.37, more than half a second of the field in a sprint event.
There has only been two occasions the Jamaican World record holder has gone out that fast on tour and the end of the tour last season in Hong Kong when she had a final time of 1:02.91 and the start of the tour in 2016 when she equalled the world record in 1:02.36.
Her final time would be just off those performances as she stopped the clock in 1:03.16. Her second 50 metres was also the fastest in the field. Silver went to Finland’s Jenna Laukkanen in 1:04.56 .The Bronze was won by Belgian Fanny Lecluyse in a time of 1:05.81. Her win was her best performance in the German capital following Bronze and Silver medal performances in 2013 and 2016 respectively.
In the 100 scm individual medley Atkinson would line up against the World record holder Hungary’s Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu and Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström who broke two World records in Moscow .Atkinson went out half a second faster than Moscow in a time of 27.86 but was sixth at the 50 metre mark. She would put another late race surge with the fastest finishing 50 metres of 30.26 to get the Bronze in a time of 58.12. The performance is not far off her national record of 57.84.It was also much better than the 59.55 she recorded in Moscow. That is the 2nd best time Alia has recorded on the World Cup tour and the best result in the event in Berlin bettering a Bronze medal winning effort in 2014.
Analysis of national record swim and 2017 tour races
|Meet||Date||First 50 split||Last 50 split||Final Time|
|FINA World Cup Paris||August 27,2016||27.62||30.22||57.84|
|FINA World Cup Berlin||August 7,2017||27.86||30.26||58.12|
|FINA World Cup Moscow||August 2,2017||28.43||31.12||59.55|
Hosszu would take the race in World record Time clocking 56.51 bettering her old 2015 mark of 56.67. The Swede Sjöström won Silver in 57.30