Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson reaffirmed her iconic status in the region and the World with yet another medal at the  14th FINA World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou China. This time she created history in the 100 metre individual medley when she won her second consecutive Bronze medal.

Atkinson made her way to the Championship final with heats and semi finals swims of of 59.69 and 58.20 respectively.

Alia Atkinson preparing for yet another date with destiny.
Photo courtesy of Derencsenyi

In making the Championship final she would be seeking to break the tie with Trinidad and Tobago’s legendary swimmer George Bovell III as the only swimmers from the CCCAN region to win a medal in the event. Bovell was the pioneer, winning Bronze at the 2012 Championships in a time of 51.66. Atkinson matched this feat in 2016 in Windsor Canada with a Bronze medal of her.

Goerge Bovell III Photo courtesy of

When the gun sounded this morning for the final it was heavy favourite and World record Katinka Hosszu of Hungary and America’s Kathleen Baker that took the race out and were the early leaders after the butterfly and backstroke legs with times of 26.36 and 26.44 . Atkinson trailed badly and was last at the half way mark with her medal hopes seemingly in tatters.

Alia launching her come back Photo courtesy of Derencsenyi

Bestowed with a national award this year on Heroes in October Commander Alia seemingly drew upon the strength of Jamaican national heroine Nanny of the Maroons in the face of such adversity and decided to kick her race into another gear .An excellent pullout from backstroke to breaststroke and Atkinson went to work chasing down her rivals. Clearly the best breaststroke sprinter in the world she gained momentum into the final wall overhauling one rival. Another fantastic turn and she passed a competitor based on the strength of her underwater work. After that she was ticking off the swimmers one by one in the freestyle. The distance to c cover everyone was a bit too much on this occasion and she ran out of water. However she had worked herself onto the podium again to win the Bronze medal in 58.11,a season best and the third fastest time of her career. In her amazing comeback she also created  history by swimming the fastest ever second half of the 100 metre individual medley in the 11 editions of 30.20. Gold went to Hosszu in 57.26 and the Silver medal to Runa Iamai in 57.85.

Alia smiling after the greatest comeback in 100 medley Championships history.
Photo courtesy of Derencsenyi

Atkinson would tie with the Katinka for the second most appearances in the this event with four. The record for Championship appearances is held Slovakian legend Martina Moracova. Katinka has not been in a Championship final without Atkinson.  Alia now has the regional record for the most medals in the event with two Bronze medals.

Martina Moracova Photo courtesy of pinterest

Head coach of Team Jamaica Chris Anderson described the race “Alia’s 100 IM she had a great back half. The fastest back half of the meet as far the 100 IM is concerned.Her breaststroke split was great on the thrid 25 and had an amazing last 25.We are really hoping this carries over into tomorrow into the 100 breaststroke and finals.I am really looking forward to great performance”.

The next generation of swimmers who would undoubtedly be inspired her performance in the event Sara Pastrana of Honduras and Alex Maclaren of the Turks and Caicos placed 34th and 38th respectively.

HondurasSara Pastrana1:07.9634th
Turks and CaicosAlex Maclaren1:19.8338th



Alia Atkinson making a surge for the the lead Photo courtesy of

Signed, Sealed ,Delivered!! Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson finally captures the 50 metre breaststroke World Title at the  14th FINA World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou China. Atkinson won the event in which she set the world record this season in a time of 29.05.Somewhat fittingly she would the take  title from her rival in the early years of the FINA World Cup Tour Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte  and the woman who denied her the Gold twice in 2012 and 2014 . 

The race itself saw the European taking the lead from the start with a reaction time of 0.60 to Atkinson’s 0.62. On the two occasions that the two ladies battled for the World Title in the 50 metre breaststroke Ruta had the faster reaction time and won the race . 

Analysis of Reaction times in Championship finals

2014 50 metre breaststroke podium from left to right Atkinson,Meilutyte and Nijuis .photo courtesy of
World champs 2012 Turkey0.610.66
World Champs 2014 Qatar0.600.66
Atkinson off to a fast start in the heats of the 50 metre breaststroke

The story would not be the same in China as Alia put on another display of excellent underwater work at the 25 metre mark to pull away and win her first global title in the 50 metre breaststroke in 29.05. Ruta won the Silver in 29.38. Italy’s Martina Carraro won the Bronze in 29.59.

In the words of  Jamaican superstar Buju Banton “It is not an easy road many see the glammer and glitter so dem tink  a bed of rose”. The path to Gold has not been easy and has been one where she has overcome many struggles since her debut at the 2004 Indianapolis Championships  to earn the title as the fastest sprint breaststroker in the world


World champs 2004 Athens33.1717th
World Champs 2010 United Arab Emirates30.22Sixth
World champs 2012 Turkey29.67Silver
World Champs 2014 Qatar28.91Silver
World Champs 2016 Canada29.11Silver
World Champs 2018 China29.05Gold

Now taking Command of the 50 metre breaststroke she has charted a new course for the region’s swimmers to follow. Atkinson now  has the most medals for either men or women from the CCCAN at the World Short Course swimming Championships with eight to her name. 

Cameron van der Burgh .Photo courtesy of The South African

No other woman has won as many medals as Atkinson in the event as she now has four medals. Ruta trails her on that medal count with three. She is also tied with South Africa’s  Cameron van der Burgh  and the Ukraine’s Oleh Lisohor as all time top medallists in World Championships history in the event.

Rodolfo Falcón 


Alia is half way en route to Matching Cuba’s Rodolfo Falcón who won World Championships backstroke sprint Gold in the 50 and 100 metres at the 1999 Hong Kong Championships. With her current form and mindset forged by the steel of many tough Championships it would be hard to bet against her doing the Golden Double in the breaststroke sprint events.

Chris Anderson and Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of Tweedsmuir Atkinson

Alia’s coach and coach of the Jamaican delegation Chris Anderson had the following thoughts about her historic win shortly after the race 

‘It was a sweet swim by Alia Atkinson. The 50 metre breaststroke has always been a difficult race to start off the World Championships. By having a great turn and solid finish I think it is really going to build confidence for the 100 metre breaststroke. Great swim for her and looking forward to more swimming at Worlds”


Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of straitimes

Team Leader Dr Brian James spoke to draftingthecaribbean about Alia’s impact “All the swimmers in Hangzhou appear to really love her. When her name is called there is a resounding cheer and everyone is encouraging her and pushing her to do her best.At the training venue people come up to her all the time, all the swimmers from all the countries not confined to to the Caribbean islands everyone loves Alia”.

Jamaica and the CCCAN region’s once in a generation athlete Alia Atkinson promises to deliver more in China as the competition continues.


Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson was the regional standard bearer on the first day of competition of the 14th FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships underway in Hangzhou China. Atkinson made her fifth consecutive World Championship final in the 50 metre breaststroke.A feat no other woman has ever achieved.

Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of

This morning local time Atkinson progressed to the final  with a time of 29.54 but what was different this occasion is that she will contest the final as the fastest seed. This looks to be a good indicator that she will take the Global title in this event after winning three consecutive Silver medals.She has always made the final in the event five of the six times she has entered the event. In her debut in Athens in 2004 she had placed 17th in a time of 33.17.

Analysis of Atkinson’s semi final performances

World Champs 2010 United Arab Emirates30.194th seed
World champs 2012 Turkey29.622nd seed
World Champs 2014 Qatar28.992nd seed
World Champs 2016 Canada29.092nd seed
World Champs 2018 China29.541st
Anahi posing with 50 metre breaststroke Silver at the CCCAN Championships Photo courtesy of C.C.C.A.N

Other ladies representing the region in that race were Victoria Russell of The Bahamas who registered a time of 32.94 for 34th. Anahi Schreuders lowered her own national record of 34.46 to place 39th in 33.90.

Marcelo Acosta Photo courtesy of

The region’s top middle and long distance freestyler El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta solidified that position with a new national record of 3:42.74 (split time  that shattered his old national record set in 2014 in Qatar of 3:53.11. That swim ranked Acosta 13th overall a big jump from 2014 when he placed 51st .Antigua and Barbuda’s Stefano Mitchell placed 40th with a swim of 4:06.94.

Elisbet Matos Photo courtesy of desdeesteladodelaisla

Elisbet Gamos of Cuba was the region’s top swimmer in the women’s 200 metre freestyle placing 21st with a time of 1:58.37 (split time 58.33).

Other regional 200 metre freestyle results

GuatemalaGabriela Santis2:05.7640th
USVILidia Boguslawska2:13.8948th
Antigua and  BarbudaBianca Mitchell2:15.1751st

Bryan Alvarez Photo courtesy of diario extra

In the 200 metre butterfly there were national records for Cuban Luis Vega Torres (27th) 1:57.45(split time 56.51),Bryan Alvarez of Costa Rica (34th) 2:01.57 (split time 57.96), Guatemala’s Fernando Ponce (35th) 2:04.91 (split time 59.71)

Puerto RicoJarrod Arroyo1:58.2230th
Dominican RepublicZeniel Guzman2:05.5437th
Cadell Lyons Photo courtesy of Harold Wilson

Cadell Lyons was the top swimmer for the men in the 100 metre backstroke placing 36th in a time of 54.92 (split time 26.07). He was just off his national record of 54.36

Other regional 100 metre backstroke results

CubaArmando Barrera55.0738th
US Virgin IslandsMatthew Mays56.0940th

In the 400 metre individual medley Costa Rica’s Daniela Alfaro lowered the 1986 national record of 5:12.86 by Olympian Sylvia Poll to 5:01.36. That swim placed her 30th overall.

Edgar Crespo Photo courtesy of La Prensa

In the men’s 100 metre breaststroke Panama’s Edgar Crespo led the region with a sub minute performance of 59.40 (split time 27.40). Costa Rica’s Arnoldo Herrara lowered his own national record from 1:02.39 to 1:02.20 to place 51st overall.

Photo courtesy of Northern Michigan University

Other regional results

US Virgin IslandsAdriel Sanes1:01.8747th
CuracaoSerginni Marten1:01.8747th
ArubaBrandon Cheong1:05.4864th
St Vincent and the GrenadinesShane Cadogan1:05.7866th
Krystal Lara Photo courtesy of womenintheworld

It was Krystal Lara of the Dominican Republic that had the region’s top time in the 100 metre backstroke. She stopped the clock in a time of 1:00.28 (split time 29.17) to finish 32nd overall

Other regional results

CubaAndrea Becali1:03.9641st
PanamaNimi Murua1:05.0945th
BarbadosDanielle Treasure1:06.7447th
GrenadaKimberly Ince1:07.6849th
HaitiBritheny Joassaint1:09.5852nd
Jarrod Arroyo

2018 CAC Champion Jarrod Arroyo of Puerto Rico was the top performer in the 200 metre individual medley with a time of 2:00.97 placing 32nd , just missing the national record of 2:00.49 (split time 57.12).  Patrick Groters of Aruba shattered the Aruban national record of 2:17.86 when he finished 35th in a time of 2:02.16 (split time 55.77).

Patrick Groters courtesy of Michael C Lyn

Other regional results

Cuba Luis Vega Torres 2:03.61 36th



The 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25 metre) will get underway in Hangzhou China with Jamaica making its ninth showing at the global event.

Sion Brin 1997
Sion Brinn 1997 Photo courtesy of

Olympian Sion Brinn opened the World Championships account for Jamaica as its only swimmer at the 1995 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil Championships. In 1995 he made the first ever final for the country placing 8th in the 50 metre freestyle in 22.53 and won the 100 metre freestyle B final in a time of 49.41.In 1997 he was again the island’s sole entrant in  Gothenburg Sweden and won both B finals of the 50 and 100 metre freestyle in times of 48.66 and 22.35 respectively.

Team Jamaica 2016
From left to right
Dominic Walter,Kelsie Campbell, Alia Atkinson and Justin Plaschka

Dominic Walter of the 2016 Team that competed in Windsor Canada recounted to draftingthecaribbean what representing the nation meant to him

Dominic Walter gets ready to race
Dominic Walter gets ready to race.

“Representing Jamaica at any level in swimming has always provided some of the most enjoyable experiences that the sport has given me. The feeling of representing your nation with your teammates on one of the highest stages is comparable to none. At the 2016 Short Course World Championships I had the opportunity to watch Alia Atkinson win a gold medal and hear the Jamaican national anthem played on a world stage, what an incredible motivation”.

Team Jamaica in 2018 will be represented by defending 100 metre breaststroke World Champion Alia Atkinson and World Short Course Championships debutante Sidrell Williams. The coach is Chris Anderson and the team leader Dr Brian James.

Alia with medals
Alia Atkinson Photo taken courtesy of

Alia Atkinson who will be competing in her sixth World Championships will be chasing history after another fantastic World Cup Campaign. She leads the World in both the 50 metre breaststroke where she set the World record at 28.56 and the 100 metre breaststroke where she is the only sub 1:03 seconds clocking at 1:02.74. In her other event the 100 metre individual medley she has third fastest entry time .

In the 100 metre breaststroke she will seek to make become the first swimmer to win three consecutive titles.She will also be seeking to bring Jamaica level with the United States of America for the country with most titles won in the event as the Americans had a winning streak from 2006,2008 and 2010. She also has the individual medal count lead with three medals and will be seeking to extend that advantage in Hangzhou.

In the 50 metre breaststroke Alia has won the most medals in the event of all time with three consecutive Silver medals from 2012,2014 and 2016.

Rodolfo Falcon Photo courtesy of

In terms of total medals won at the Championships she will be seeking to break the deadlock with Cuba’s Rodolfo Falcón  who has seven medals.

1999 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 50 metre backstroke Gold
2000 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 50 metre backstroke Bronze
1993 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 100 metre backstroke Bronze
1995 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 100 metre backstroke Gold
1999 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 100 metre backstroke Gold
2000 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 100 metre backstroke Silver
1995 Cuba Rodolfo Falcón 200 metre backstroke Gold

Sidrell Williams Mike C Lyn
Sidrell Williams Photo courtesy of Mike C Lyn

Teammate Sidrell Williams will become  the 16th  Jamaican swimmer  to compete World Short Course championships debut is no stranger to national representation having represented the country at the regional level at the CARIFTA , CISC and CCCAN Championships . On the international stage he has represented the Black,Green and Gold at the 2013 Junior World Championships, 2014 Youth Olympic Games and the 2015 World Championships. He will be seeking to make his mark in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle events.

The Competition Venue is The Tennis Centre at the Hangzhou Olympic and International Expo. Centre where a temporary competition pool and pool deck will be constructed on top of the main arena of the Tennis Centre.The venue is  between 15-20 minutes from the  “Grand New Century Hotel’ where Team Jamaica is housed.The competition will run from Tuesday December 11th to Sunday, December 16th. Local start times for heats in Jamaica are 8:30 pm  for heats and 6am for the finals. The competition will start at 8.30 pm today Monday Dec 10. Atkinson will start Jamaica’s campaign on her birthday Dec 11 with the 50 metre breaststroke.

Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of Grace Kennedy Money Services

Schedule for Team Jamaica

Monday  Dec 10 8:30 pm Women 50 metre breaststroke heats
Tuesday Dec 11 6am Women 50 metre breaststroke semi finals
Wednesday Dec 12  6am Women 50 metre breaststroke  final
Wed  Dec 12 8.30 pm Women 100 metre individual medley heats
Men 50 metre freestyle heats
Thursday Dec 13 6am Women 100 metre individual medley semi finals
Men 50 metre freestyle semi finals
Thursday Dec 13 8.30pm Women 100 metre breaststroke heats
Friday Dec 14 6am Women 100 metre individual medley final
Men 50 metre freestyle final
Women 100 metre breaststroke semi finals
Friday Dec 14 8.30 pm Men 100 metre freestyle heats
Saturday Dec 15 6am Men 100 metre freestyle semi finals
Women 100 metre breaststroke final
Sunday Dec 16 6am Men 100 metre freestyle final


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.

Bree Roman Jamaican
Breanna Roman

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.

Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of Jamaica Olympics

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

2018 28.93 Gold
2017 29.29 Gold
2016 28.91 Gold
2015 30.74 LCM Gold
2014 29.00 Gold
2013 28.94 Gold


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.

Alia and Breanna
Alia Atkinson and Breanna Roman

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

Alia making a move on medley
Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of

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.

Top swims Dec 2014 Aug 2016 Aug 2017  Nov 2018
First 50 metres 29.46 29.33 29.32 29.87
Second 50 metres 32.90 33.03 33.35 32.87
Final Time 1:02.36 1:02.36 1:02.67 1:02.74

Bree Roman Jamaican
Breanna Roman

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.

2015 PAN AM Games 400 metre medley relay from left to right Trudiann Patrick, Alia Atkinson, Breanna Roman and Danielle Boothe

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.

Alia world cup tokyo 2018
Alia Atkinson Photo courtesy of FINA

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 Photo courtesy off

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).