Atkinson snatches another bronze at FINA Champions Swim Series

Atkinson snatches another bronze at FINA Champions Swim Series

Thursday, January 16, 2020

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Jamaica's champion swimmer Alia Atkinson secured another bronze medal on the first leg of the FINA Champions Swim Series at Shenzhen Universiade Natatorium in China yesterday.

Atkinson, who won bronze in the 50-metre breaststroke on Tuesday's first day, followed suit in the 100m event, clocking a time of 1:08.15 minutes, which is some ways off her best of 1:05.93 minutes on the long course circuit.

The regional standard-bearer, who holds the world short course 100m breaststroke record at 1:02.36 minutes, once again finished behind Italian Martina Carraro, who completed the sprint breaststroke double with a time of 1:06.85 minutes.

Hometown swimmer Yu Jingyao was second in 1:07.59, while Canadian Olympian Sydney Pickrem was fourth in 1:09.59.

Atkinson again pocketed US$6,000 for her effort, while Carraro and Jingyao received US$10,000 and US$8,000, respectively.

After a fairly tidy display in the 50m breaststroke, Atkinson would have been hoping for an even better performance in the 100m equivalent, but was made to wait a bit longer for a move up the podium.

Despite being the second-fastest swimmer off the blocks with a 0.67 reaction time, Atkinson surfaced behind Carraro and Jingyao heading into the first turn and the trio maintained their respective positions to the end.

Carraro was again confident and convincing in her display, registering splits of 31.95 and 34.90 seconds, while Atkinson's splits were 32.06 and 36.09 seconds. Jingyao had splits of 31.60 and 35.99 seconds.

The sensational Atkinson, who is using the series as part of her preparations for the Tokyo Olympics later this year, is aiming to make her fifth Olympic appearance the charm to secure an elusive medal at the global multi-sport event. Atkinson's first Olympics appearance as a teenager was at the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece.

Atkinson, 31, and her peers will now proceed to Beijing, where the second meet of the year will take place on Saturday and Sunday, at the Ying Dong Swimming Natatorium, which hosted the 2008 Olympic Games.

She will again contest the 50- and 100-metre breaststroke events.

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