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Mixed fortunes for Atkinson in Swimming World Cup

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Jamaica's Alia Atkinson closed day one on the seventh leg of the FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup with mixed performances, though she continued to enjoy good form in the 50-metre breaststroke in Beijing, China, yesterday.

Atkinson opened the day with a brisk 29.95-second clocking in heat one to advance to the final of the sprint event as the fastest qualifier ahead of home girl Ron Suo (30.50s) and club entrant Junyang Feng (30.78s).

And the top three later justified their place with Atkinson by virtue of her snappy reaction time of 0.64, again leading the way, this time coming through even faster in 29.57 seconds.

She won ahead of Feng (30.40s), who relegated Suo to third in 30.44s.

In her second and final event of the day, the 100m individual medley (IM), Atkinson came through the heats as the seventh fastest qualifier with a time of 1:00.51 minutes on the back of a fast 50m split of 28.34s.

However, she failed to improve her time and placing despite a creditable display in the final, where she clocked in at 1:02.06 minutes.

Atkinson went out hard on the butterfly and backstroke legs in a 50m split of 28.40s, with a 0.67 reaction time, and on the back of that split, failed to find extra in the closing stages of the event, completing the breaststroke and freestyle legs in 33.66s.

The event was won by the overwhelming favourite Katinka 'Iron Lady' Hosszu of Hungary in 57.50 seconds, ahead of Sweden's Sarah Sjöström (57.78s), with Australia's Emily Seebohm back in third in 58.86s.

Meanwhile, the sensational swimmer will today contest the 100m butterfly and 200m breaststroke as part of her endurance work and build-up to next year's Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Atkinson is currently fifth in the overall ranking on 153 points, this after picking up 90 points on the Russia, Germany and Netherlands leg in Cluster One, and 63 points on the Hong Kong and Doha legs in Cluster Two.

Sjöström leads the pack with 446 points, followed by Hosszu (359), Netherland's Ranomi Kromowidjojo (182) and Seebohm (174).

— Sherdon Cowan

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