Halfway through the 2017 FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup Jamaica’s World Record in the 50 scm breaststroke Alia Atkinson seems well on her way to complete the tour undefeated in that event.
On Sunday October 1 Atkinson crushed the field by over a second to win the event in a time of 29.26. Second place went to Denmark’s Rikke Pedersen in 30.50 and the Bronze was won by Hong Kong’s Ip Rainbow in 32.50. The Gold medal winning performance marked her 4th consecutive win for the season and 16th straight on the tour. The last time Alia lost this race was Oct 29, 2015. On the 2016 tour Alia competed in 8 of the 9 stops and won all her races.
In 100 scm breaststroke her streak of victories now extends to five. Atkinson reigned supreme from the start with the quickest reaction and the fastest splits for both the first and second 50s.
Left in her wake by over a second was the Dane Pedersen in 1:05.09 and Canadian Kierra Smith won the Bronze in 1:05.65.
In the longest breaststroke race, the 200scm Atkinson won the Bronze in a time of 2:26.70 (1:09.89).
In the 200 scm individual medley she out split the field on the breaststroke leg with a time of 35.88 to move from 8th to 5th .
Alia would push to the wall to finish 4th in 2:12.34 her fastest time of the season.
Atkinson posted her 3rd fastest time of the season in the 100 scm medley when she finished 4th with a time of 59.57 (split time 28.17).
As this 2017 FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup continues Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson is getting faster and faster. On the first day of competition in Eindhoven she let the world know that the 100 scm breaststroke World record of 1:02.36 was in grave danger of being bettered. The same warning was issued in the 50 scm breaststroke.
In the morning preliminaries at the Pieter van den Hoogenband Swimming Stadium she eased into the Championship final with a time of 29.56. Her 50 scm split time of 29.32 in the 100 scm final yesterday was faster. Her swim was the only sub 30 second clocking as tour rival Lithuanian Rūta Meilutytė was more than half a second adrift in 30.13.
The only question would be not who would take Gold but how fast Alia would be in winning the event in the evening.
Rūta would have the slightest of lead when she had a reaction time of 0.61 to 0.62.That would be the only lead she would have over the Jamaican as Alia took over the proceedings. She would take the race in a sizzling time of 28.84, the only sub 29 seconds performance . For Atkinson ,who is sponsored by Rainforest Seafoods, GKMS and National Bakery it was the second fastest performance of her career. Only her World record swim of 28.64 in Tokyo last year was faster. It was also the third fastest time ever swum on the World Cup Circuit. The second all-time fastest performance on the circuit being the 28.80 recorded by American Jessica Hardy when she set the World Record in 2009. Atkinson’s win was also her 26th on the tour.
Rivals Rūta and Dane Rikke Møller Pedersen finished with the Silver and Bronze medals in times of 29.57 and 30.25 respectively.
Atkinson ended the day with her second best career performance in the 50 metre butterfly when she placed 8th in the Championship final with a time of 26.03.
The World Record holder in the 100 scm breaststroke Alia Atkinson had given an early warning of things to come on the second stop of the 2017 FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup in Moscow when she said she was going to work on putting on the best race technically for this year’s tour . The first day of the Eindhoven leg was near perfection as she came close to her global standard of 1:02.36.
The script could not have been written any better as Eindhoven was the site of her first 100 scm breaststroke World Cup win on Aug 7,2013 in 1:03.90.Also in the morning heats Alia and her long time tour rival and co world record holder Lithuanian Rūta Meilutytė in the event touched in the same exact time of 1:04.75.
First 50 split
Last 50 split
As draftingthecaribbean had suggested when Alia swims the first 50 metres under 29.50 the World record will come under threat as her finishing speed is greatly improved. In the Championship final there would be no sharing as Atkinson, who is sponsored by Rainforest Seafoods, GKMS and National Bakery, covered the first 50 metres under World record pace as her 50 metres in 29.32.That was more than half a second faster than the chasing Rūta who split the race at 29.90. Her improved stamina was in evidence as she also had the fastest last 50 metres with a clocking of 33.35. Atkinson final time on the scoreboard read 1:02.67. That was Atkinson’s 8th time under 1:03 seconds and the 4th fastest time she has recorded on the World Cup Tour.
Analysis of World Records swims and the 2017 Eindhoven performance
First 50 split
Last 50 split
Silver went to Meilutytė in 1:03.79 and the Bronze to American Breeja Larson in 1:04.81.
Alia had earlier placed 17th in the heats of the 200 scm individual medley in a time of 2:14.94
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
First 50 split
Last 50 split
FINA World Cup Paris
FINA World Cup Berlin
FINA World Cup Moscow
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
Today August 6, 2017 Jamaica celebrates 55 years of Independence and a highly favoured daughter of the soil, Alia Atkinson delivered a fitting gift to the people of the land of wood and water by winning the 200 scm breaststroke in Berlin today on the second stop of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup 2017.
Mere days after posting the second fastest time in her career in the event with a Bronze medal winning performance in Moscow of 2:20.63. Alia came to Germany stating that she had to fine tune aspects of her races and she did that in a big way. She qualified easily again with a time of 2:22.35 .That was almost the same time she did in the preliminaries at the Moscow tour when she posted 2:22.07. The European record holder in the 200 scm Rikke Møller Pedersen again topped the qualifiers with a swim of 2:21.87.
In the final it would be again Atkinson, who is the fastest Jamaican, man or woman in all formats of the 200 breaststroke whether it is yards ,scm (short course metres) or lcm ( long course metres) who went out the fastest in 31.65 .That was the same opening 50 metre split in Moscow
Alia’s 200 Jamaican 200 breaststroke records
200 scy breaststroke
200 scm breaststroke
200 lcm breaststroke
The Dane went with her in 31.96, just .01 outside of her Russian opening salvo. That is where the similarities to Moscow ended as Pedersen did not overtake the Jamaican at the 100 metre mark .Alia had a slight advantage of 1:07.38 to 1:07.49 at the century point. Rikke would make an even greater press to gain the lead at the 150 mark but Atkinson would not yield but the lead was just .02 , 1:43.27 to 1:43.29.
Seemingly summoning the strength of Jamaica’s lone heroine Nanny of the Maroons Alia put on a final 50 blast of 35.69 to take the Gold in a time of 2:18.96. Silver went to Pedersen in 2:19.52 and the Bronze in 2:19.96 to Fanny Lecluyse of Belgium. That performance and her improved back end speed should put her national record in jeopardy.
Analysis of Moscow and Berlin swims as well as the national record
In the 50 metre butterfly Alia registered the fourth fastest preliminary time of her world Cup career to place 14th in time of 26.45. Tomorrow’s races will see her competing in the 100 scm individual medley and the 100 scm breaststroke for which she is the reigning World Champion.
The second day of the Moscow of leg of the 2017 FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup (August 3) saw Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson shattering her national record in the 100 scm (short course metres ) butterfly . That performance made it Four National records from three competitions. This follows national record swims in the 100 (long course metres)LCM butterfly and 100 LCM butterfly earlier this summer.
At the start of the day the old Jamaican record stood at 1:01.39 from her efforts at the 2012 Canada Cup on November 23. Today in the morning heats she broke the through the minute barrier. She also flew past the 59 and 58 second barriers to clock 57.64. The only person faster was the World Record holder in the event Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström who topped qualifiers with a time of 56.97.
In the final Atkinson went out with the field to be 4th at the 50 metre turn. She came back faster on the last 50 metres in 30.37 to win the Bronze in yet another national record time of 57.56. The Silver went to Russian Svetlana Chimrova in 57.02. The Gold went to the Swede in a time of 55.70. Sjöström had set the World record in the 100 scm freestyle in a time of 50.77 less than an hour earlier.
Analysis of Atkinson’s 100 metre butterfly national record swims
First 50 split
Last 50 split
FINA World Cup
FINA World Cup
In the 200 metre breaststroke Atkinson produced her second fastest effort ever on the World Cup tour in the preliminaries when she clocked 2:22.07 (split time 1:08.35) to qualify for the final. In the race for the medals in the evening it would be Alia, long time tour rival Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte and European record holder Dane Rikke Moeller Pedersen that took the fight to the field with splits of 1:07.51 and 1:07.55 and 1:07.43 respectively. The last 100 metres saw Pedersen holding on to take the Gold in 2:19.84. The Silver went to Russian Mariia Temnikova as she clipped Atkinson at the wall 2:20.14 to 2:20.63. Meilutyte placed 5th with a time of 2:22.21.
Jamaican World record holder Alia Atkinson opened her 2017-2018 FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup with her 25th career win in the 50 scm (short course metre) breaststroke (25 metre pool) today in Moscow Russia.
After cruising to make the make the final with a time of 29.73 she would face long time rival and former World Record holder Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte. In the final it would be the European who got the early advantage with a better reaction time to Alia 0.59 to 0.69.But as seen in the her build up to her European cluster campaign Atkinson has developed her back end speed . At the death it would be the fastest woman ever in the event Atkinson getting her hands to the wall first in a time of 29.46. Ruta won the Silver in 29.51. Russian Natalia Ivaneeva won the Bronze in a time of 29.87.
Atkinson competed at eight of the nine World Cup stops last season and was undefeated in all eight of her 50 metre breaststroke races.
In her final race of the day she competed in a stacked final of the 100 metre individual medley. The race would go to the World record holder in the event the “Iron lady” Katinka Hosszu of Hungary in 57.02.Sweden’s World record holder in the 100 scm butterfly Sarah Sjöström won the Silver in 54.61. Former World record holder in the event Australian Emily Seebohm won Bronze in 58.63. Atkinson, the CCCAN and CARIFTA’s standard bearer in the event was fourth in 59.55. Alia was 8th at the halfway mark but there was too much a gap for her to close to be on the podium.
On Day two she will be in action in the 200 scm breaststroke and 100 scm butterfly.