Atkinson delivers stellar performance in Canada Cup
Jamaica's three-time Olympian, 24-year-old Alia Atkinson, added two more gold at the Canada Cup in Toronto Saturday night, to register two more personal bests and break another short course meet record, this time in the 50m breaststroke.
Representing the South Florida Aquatic Club, Atkinson established a new championship record of 29.87 seconds. She broke the three-year-old mark of 29.96 seconds to join the elite band of sub-30 second swimmers.
Lowering her previous national record of 30.17 set in the semi-finals at Dubai two years ago, Atkinson's new personal best put her in the top ten of all time.
After swimming 2:26.37 in the prelims of the 200m breaststroke, a time that would have won in the final, Atkinson decided to focus on the 100m individual medley which was the next event in the pool.
It paid off as she won gold in a personal best 59.96 seconds, the only female swimmer to go under one minute in the event at the Eobicoke Swim Club over the two days.
She smashed the previous national record and personal best of 1:04.64 set in the prelims of the FINA World Short Course Championships in 2010.
In her last event of the night, the 50m butterfly, Atkinson swam 26.85 to place second after Noemie Thomas, who won in 25.99 seconds. Katerin Savard was third in 27.00 seconds.
Atkinson completed her performance at the Canada Cup with five gold, including the 100m breaststroke, 200m individual medley, and 50m freestyle won on the opening day Friday.
An eight-time gold medallist at the Central American and Caribbean Games, Atkinson seems well-prepared for the FINA World Short Course Championships in Istanbul, Turkey from December 12-16.
It will be her third time at the championships, having participated in Indianapolis in October 2004 and Dubai in 2010.