The final day of the FINA World Cup tour in Singapore saw lightning striking twice for Jamaica in the 50 metre breaststroke Championship final. The ladies from the land, wood and water were history makers again on Day Two and decided to do it again on the final day of the tour.
In the morning heats of the 50 metre breaststroke Roman and Russia’s Yulia Efimova went head to head .Roman did well against the seasoned European with a personal best time of 31.06. Yulia took the win in a time of 30.42. Alia took the final heat with with a time of 29.96 , the only sub 30 seconds time of the morning qualifiers.
Singapore has been a happy hunting for Atkinson having never lost a 50 metre breaststroke race and in the sensational form she has been in was in no mood to lose that winning record. When the starter’s gun went off it would be as it had been all tour long Alia with the fastest reaction time of 0.64 .It would be a case of “last one fast one” and Alia turned it up again in the final to beat the field by over a second and win in a time of 28.93.Teammate Roman was just off her newly minted personal best with a 5th place performance of 31.41. Silver went to Australian Australian Emily Seebohm in 30.25 and the Bronze went to Russian Vitalina Simonova in 31.11. Efimova was disqualified.
Analysis of the Alia’s performances in Singapore
With the reign of Atkinson and the rise of Roman on the international stage and other female swimmers such as Emily MacDonald,Gabrianna Banks, Bryanna Renuart, Shaun Johnson among others making a name for themselves it would not be be improbable to see Jamaica push for a relay medal at the PAN AM Games .
The second day of the final stop of the FINA World Cup in Singapore saw history being created for Jamaica at the OCBC Aquatic Centre as two Jamaicans made it through to the final of the same event in the women’s 100 metre breaststroke.
In the morning preliminaries it was in the last heat of five in the morning it was Commander Alia Atkinson in lane 4 with First Lieutenant Breanna Roman in Lane 5 .They would have the final say in how the top eight places would be decided for the Championship final. The Commander led the way with a split of 30.80 with Roman just in her wake at 31.80 . Roman put on a final push in the last 50 metres with a split of 35.75 which resulted in both Jamaicans successfully navigating their way to the final in times of 1:07.00 and 1:07.55 respectively. Roman’s effort was a new personal best .
Video of the 100 metre breaststroke heats
As was to be expected the larger the team at international competitions the better the swimmers do with their individual efforts for Jamaica and the region as a whole . The Championship final was yet another example of this. In the final Alia took the early initiative and took the race away from the field with a scorching first 50 metres of 29.87 , the only sub 30 seconds swim of the final. She was also displayed her considerable speed endurance to also have the fastest second 50 metres of the final of 32.87 to punch the clock in 1:02.74 , a World leading time and fourth fastest performance of her career.Atkinson has also put her World record of 1:02.36 which she has done twice in her career on notice.
First 50 metres
Second 50 metres
Roman would have splits of 31.78 and 35.86 to touch in 1:07.74 and be just off her new PB of 1:07.55 to place a creditable 6th in her first Championship final. Silver and Bronze went to the Russian duo of Yulia Efimova and Vitalina Simonova in 1:03.58 and 1:05.53 respectively.
The last time this Jamaican duo were together they joined teammates Trudi -Ann Patrick and Danielle Boothe to set a new Jamaican record in the 400 metre medley record at the 2015 PAN AM Games. Earlier this year in March at Roman’s final collegiate swim for the Auburn Universityat the NCAA Division I Championships she joined Alia as the only female swimmers to have swum under 59.60 in the 100 yard breaststroke.
More history could be in store for tomorrow’s final day of action as both ladies will be competing in the 50 metre breaststroke.
Regional standard bearers Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson and Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter continued to fine tune their preparations for the upcoming World Short course Swim Championships in Hangzhou China with top performances on the final day of the World Cup stop in Tokyo Japan.
Atkinson maintained her scintillating form with another world breaking performance in the 50 metre breaststroke.After the morning preliminaries Yulia Efimova from Russia would be the top seed with an effort of 30.23 followed by Atkinson in 30.30. It would not be a time that would be of concern to Atkinson as she had been sub 30 seconds for her split in the 100 metre event. In the Championship final of the 100 Efimova had matched Alia’s reaction time at the start .This time Commander would not yield any quarter . Her reaction to the gun was 0.64 to the Russian’s 0.68. With an advantage already from the gun and her underwater work impeccable alleyes would now be on the time Atkinson would produce as that was the same reaction time she produced to set the world record in Hungary and this pool was the site of her World record performance in 2016. With the field well beaten she stopped the clock in 28.95 , just off her world record but continuing to dominate the all time rankings in the event. Efimova placed second with a time of 29.56 and Australian Emily Seebohm taking the Bronze in 29.99.
Also put on notice was the national record in the 100 metre butterfly as Atkinson put up a time of 57.79 (split time 27.17) to make the Championship final in the event. In the final she produced a time of 58.90 to place eighth overall.
Dylan Carter continues to make this debut tour stop a very successful one for himself , the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the entire region by qualifying for two Championship finals.
In the heats of the 50 metre butterfly he rattled his national record of 22.53 when he led the qualifiers to the final with a time of 22.66. That was the second fastest time Carter has ever recorded in the event. He would replicate that time in the final and finish 4th overall. The Gold went to man of the moment Russian Vladimir Morozov in 22.29, Silver to American sprint sensation Michael Andrew in 22.39 and the Bronze to 2016 World Championship finalist Takeshi Kawamoto in 22.60. At the 2016 world Championships Carter had placed seventh in 22.68. This performance puts Dylan on steady bearing for an even faster performance in China next month.
His second Championship final would be in the 200 metre freestyle. In qualification he would put in the third fastest performance in his life of 1:44.44 (split time 50.92). In the final he posted a time of 1:48.42.This is another event that could see his national record and unofficial CCCAN region best of 1:42.48 that being on borrowed time.
Cuba’s Elisbet Matos turned in another good performance in the 100 metre freestyle. She placed 24th overall .She registered a time of 55.26( split time 26.90).
The second day of the Tokyo leg of the FINA World Cup was another successful day for the Caribbean at the Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center with Commander Alia Atkinson leading the way with yet another breaststroke Gold, Dylan Carter shattering his national backstroke record and recording the best ever time form the CCCAN region and Elisbet Matos swimming under 2 mins in the 200 metre freestyle.
Alia Atkinson , world record holder in the 100 metre breaststroke was back at her irrepressible best in the championship final of the event.The race was always going to be a battle between Atkinson and her Russian rival Yulia Efimova. With the sounding of the starter’s gun it was an identical reaction time between Alia and Yulia with both registering a response of 0.67. That would be where the similarities would end. Atkinson known for her excellent underwater work displayed that and took the early advantage. It would be a lead she would not lose as she took the first half of the race out in 29.67 shadowed by Efimova in 29.78. There would be no waning of strength on the second 50 metres as Alia outsplit the field again with a time of 33.42 to win a time of 1:03.09. This her second consecutive win in the event this season.
Video courtesy of FINA
Yulia won the Silver in a time of 1:03.42. The Bronze went to Siobahn O’Connor who clocked 1:05.07. Atkinson took out the race in her fastest split for the season and still had the speed endurance to take the win which augurs well for the defence of her title at the World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou China from Dec 11 to 18.
When Dylan Carter flew into Tokyo his nation’s national record for the 50 metre backstroke stood at 25.14 held by Jeron Thompson.That time would be committed to the pages of history as he lowered the Republic’s national record as well as the unofficial CCCAN record to become the first from the region under 24 seconds in the event with a clocking of 23.73.
He bettered the CCCAN best of 24.32 set by another icon from the region Rodolfo Falcon of Cuba.Falcon had set that time on Mar 17,2000 when he won the Bronze medal in the event at the World Championships in Athens Greece. Carter’s newly minted standard from the heats would get the same record breaking treatment in the Championship final as he placed fourth in a time of 23.43.
The Gold went to Jiayu Xu of China in 22.87. The silver to American Michael Andrew in 23.17 and Japanese Takeshi Kawamoto in 23.36. Carter’s time would have made the World Championship final in event in every edition from 2000.
There would be another Championship final for Carter as he qualified for the final of the 100 metre freestyle with a time of with a time of 48.06 (split time 23.08). In that final he would place 5th in a time of 47.75( split time 22,79) .Carter had the fastest reaction time of the field of 0.59 of a second.
The race was won by Russian Vladimir Morozov in 45.16,in yet another World Cup record, Silver to Australian Kyle Chalmers in 45.78 and the Bronze to American Blake Pieroni in 46.79.
Cuba’s Elisbet Matos remains on pace for good performances at the upcoming World Championships with her performance in the 200 metre freestyle.She recorded a time of 1:58.80. At the last edition of the Championship in 2016 she had placed 30th in a time of 2:01.08.
The nations of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba were well represented on the first day of the Tokyo leg of the 2018 FINA World Cup tour. They were represented by Alia Atkinson, Dylan Carter and Elisbet Matos respectively.
Atkinson again set a season best time in the 100 metre individual medley. She recorded her best time outside of a World Short Course Championships when she recorded 58.96 in the heats of the event. In the final she would return to place 6th in the Championship final. Gold went to World record holder Hungarian Katinka Hosszu in
Comparison of best in season times
First 50 metres
Second 50 metres
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago saw their return to the World Cup tour since the legendary George Bovell III swam his last race in November 2014 at the Singapore stop when Dylan Carter lined up behind the blocks in the 50 metre freestyle and 100 metre individual medley. It would not be an easy path to the Championship final of the freestyle. After the morning heats Carter was in a dead heat with New Zealand’s Daniel Hunter as they recorded identical times of 21.93 for 8th place. Dylan would win the swim off 21.85 to 21.95. In the final he would place 6th in a time of 21.68 .
The race was won by a fellow University of Southern California alum Vladimir Morozov in a World Cup record time of 20.49. Second went American sprint sensation Michael Andrew in 21.05 and the Bronze to Australian Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers in 21.09.
Dylan would just be off the pace in the medley as he touched in a time of 54.02 ( split time 24.34) for 13th overall. The race went to Morozov in a new World Record of 51.26 , more than a second ahead of the field.
Cuba’s Matos would record time of 4:08.86( split time 2:03.03) to qualify for the Championship final in the 400 metre freestyle . She was not that fast in the final and placed eighth in a time of 4:15.47. The race was won by Dutch swimmer Femke Heemskerk in a time of 4:01.29.
After a timely break on the World Cup Tour where she was able to be formally conferred with a national honour in Kingston Jamaica Commander Alia Atkinson returned to the FINA global tour this weekend in Beijing China. It proved to be quite a return as she continued her winning ways in the 50 metre breaststroke (short course metres) and set a new national record in the 100 metre butterfly.
In the 50 metre breaststroke today at the Water Cube she renewed rivalries with Russian Yulia Efimova. The final of the event saw her with her signature bullet start and the fastest reaction time of the field of 0.62 seconds. She would steadily build upon that early advantage to take the win in a time of 29.16. The Russian winning the Silver in 29.63 and Australian and former world record holder in the 100 metre medley Emily Seebohm placing third in 30.35. Alia’s time is her second fastest time for the season behind her World record effort of 28.56 in October.
Atkinson turned the tables on Efimova who chased her down in the 100 metre event a day earlier and won the event in 1:03.09. Atkinson took the Silver in 1:03.44. Another Russian Vitalina Simonova won the Bronze in 1:05.90.
There would be yet another standard broken for Jamaica in the 100 metre butterfly event. On Aug 3 ,2017 had set the national record of 57.56. Today she flirted with a sub 57 seconds clocking when she stopped the clock in 57.38 to place fourth. Analysis of the race by 50 shows that she has become stronger in the area of speed endurance with a last 50 metres almost under 30 seconds.
She would also record two season bests on the first day of the three competition.In the 100 metre individual medley she placed fourth in a time of 58.99 her best time in the event since the 2016 World championships in Windsor Canada. In the 200 metre breaststroke she placed 5th in a time of 2:24.35 (split time 1:09.85).That was her best time on the tour since Nov 14 2017.
In the 50 metre butterfly she opted out of the 50 metre butterfly championship final after qualifying with a time of 26.50.
The next stop for the tour will be Tokyo Japan from Nov 9 to 11.
Miss Alia Atkinson will formally be conferred with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander on Jamaica’s Heroes Day from Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, at King’s House tomorrow October 15. She is being recognized for outstanding representation of Jamaica in the field of swimming and being the first black woman to win a World Championships Title.
The sport of swimming will also be represented tomorrow by veteran swim Coach John Lopez who will be awarded the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer for his contribution to disability and paraplegic sports.Mr Lopez founded the Marlin Swim Club in 1959, and started a swimming programme at the Mona Rehabilitation Centre (now Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre) in 1963.
Alia covered herself in more glory by lowering her own world record in the 50 metre breaststroke ( 25 metre pool ) to 28.56 on October 6. With that record Atkinson extends her lead in having the most world record swims from the region. Also on this list are Olympians George Bovell III and Martinique’s Coralie Balmy.
George Bovell III
Trinidad and Tobago
200 metre IM (scm)
East Meadow NY USA
200 metre freestyle (scm)
100 metre breaststroke (scm)
100 metre breaststroke (scm)
50 metre breaststroke (scm)
50 metre breaststroke (scm)
Maureen Croes ,General Secretary of CCCAN , the regional governing body for swimming had the following thoughts on Atkinson’s World Record.
“Another very positive result for our region. Very proud to see Alia’s hard work and determination pay of and bring her in the well deserved spotlight. I hope that her story can bring excitement to our entire region, for the athletes, for our sport as a whole and maybe even for the administrators, leaders and coaches to see that it is possible to compete on the World stage”.
The President of the St. Lucia Amateur Swimming Association, Eddie Hazell also offered congratulations and spoke of Alia’s impact on the region
“We in St.Lucia are elated at the success and achievements of Alia. She is well known to quite a few of our swimmers who has had the honor of both speaking too and receiving words of encouragement from her. Not surprising, her personal journey now acts as an inspiration to many of our competitive swimmers. St. Lucia Amateur Swimming Association extends congratulations to Alia on such a superb performance. We stand with you in pursuit of your goals and wishes you all the best. Thank you Miss Atkinson – you are a true inspiration to all”.
Words of praise also came from the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago through its Public Relations Officer Jason Wickham
“On behalf of the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago we would like to extend our congratulations to Alia Atkinson on the establishment of a new world record. Alia has been flying the flag of Jamaica and the entire region for a number of years and this is testament to the hard work she has put in. She continues to bring glory to the Caribbean. Coming from this and the success of Caribbean athletes on the world stage including our Dylan Carter that there will be a region wide mentor ship initiative from our seasoned athletes so that will continue producing top class athletes that will excel on the global stage”.
President of the Bahamas Aquatics Federation Algernon Cargill also lauded Atkinson
“The Caribbean has produced many firsts in sports certainly we know about all the successes in track and field and swimming has been producing the same level of outstanding results. The Bahamas Aquatics Federation extends sincere congratulations to Alia Atkinson and our friends in the ASAJ on Alia’s outstanding world record. She has demonstrated that aquatic sports in the Caribbean is among the best in the world.Not only because of Alia’s outstanding swim in the breaststroke but moreso because we are always overshadowed by the results of track and field. Alia has broken through and again has set another world record .Her performance in the 50 metre breaststroke will be an example for many Caribbean swimmers to emulate in the future. What is outstanding is that she is achieving these results in the latter stages of her career and she has demonstrated that when you continue to work hard and compete clean that you will be blessed with outstanding results.The Bahamas Aquatics Federation recognizes that Alia’s started during her CARIFTA years and continued during her college career and of course the The World Championships and Olympic Games.She has continued to work hard and her diversity in swimming other events positions for an outstanding performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.So we congratulate Alia and wish her well and continue to pray that she will continue to represent the Caribbean of course Jamaica at the high standard as she has always done”.
King’s House serves both as the official residence of the Jamaican Head of State and as a Department of Government.