Sport

Alia cops 50m breaststroke gold

...Brings curtains down on World Cup circuit by completing double

Sunday, November 18, 2018

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JAMAICA'S champion swimmer Alia Atkinson fittingly brought the curtains down on the FINA World Cup circuit with another breath-taking performance to cop the women's 50m breaststroke at the OCDC Aquatic Centre on the final day of action in Singapore yesterday.

Atkinson, who on Friday's second day toppled the field in the 100m breaststroke, completed the double with victory in the sprint as she again stamped her class in the event.

After a 1:02.74-clocking in the 100m breaststroke, Atkinson, who was again joined by compatriot Breanna Roman in the 50m breaststroke final, won the event in a fast 28.93.

Earlier in the preliminary rounds, Roman and Russia's Yuliya Efimova went head-to-head, with the Jamaican showing that she belongs, clocking a personal best time of 31.06, against the seasoned European who finished tops in 30.42.

Atkinson then comfortably took the final heat with a time of 29.96, the only sub-30 second time of the morning qualifiers.

And with Singapore being a happy hunting ground for Atkinson, having never lost a 50m breaststroke race there coupled with her sensational form, she was not expected to lose that winning record at this point in time.

When the starter's gun went off, the 29-year-old Jamaican, like she has done throughout the seven-country tour, left the blocks with a brisk reaction time of 0.64 and was never to be caught from there.

She bettered the field by over a second with Australian Emily Seebohm (30.25) in second, ahead of Russian Vitalina Simonova (31.11). Efimova was disqualified, while Roman was just off her newly minted personal best with a fifth place performance of 31.41.

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, and Shaun Johnson, among others ,making a name for themselves, it would not be improbable to see Jamaica push for a relay medal at the PANAM Games next year.

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