Alia turns attention to 200m breaststroke
LONDON, England — After beating the odds to place a brilliant fourth place in the women's 100m breaststroke final at the Aquatic Centre in Olympic Park in Stratford on Monday night, Jamaica's Alia Atkinson is ready to create more Olympic magic this morning when she swims in the preliminary heats of the women's 200m breaststroke.
Encouraged by her outstanding performances in the shorter distance, Atkinson said on Monday night she was not about to rule out anything and has her eyes set on a second final when she swims in the very first heat set to start at 10:43 am UK time (4:43 am Jamaica time) with just two other competitors, Kyrgyzstan's Dariia Talanova and Hungary's Anna Sztankovics, both 16-years-old.
Right after the 100m final, Atkinson, the NCAA 200m breaststroke champion for Texas A&M, said she does not even know what to expect as after lowering her time in the 100m from 1 minute 08.45 seconds and moving from 17th in the world to fourth, says this puts everything into perspective. "I really don't know where I am at right now, I don't know what to expect," she said, "so it puts everything into perspective going into the 200m. I can go into the race giving it all and see where I can reach."
Unlike the 100m race where she came into the Olympics with an A qualifying standard, Atkinson only has a B qualifying standard for this event, as well as the 50m freestyle, which starts on Friday morning and will make the odds on her advancing past the first round that much longer.
Thirty-four swimmers will contest the first round for the 16 places in the semi-finals later this evening, starting at 8:29 pm UK time (2:39 pm Jamaica time) with the fastest times determining who advances.