Sunday 12 July, 2020

Alia strikes gold on International Swimming League debut

Standout Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson.

Standout Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson.

Standout Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson secured an individual victory and a second-place finish at the third leg of the inaugural season of the International Swimming League (ISL) at the LISD Westside Aquatic Center in Texas at the weekend.

On Saturday's first day, the 30-year-old Olympian, representing Team Iron, easily won the women's 50-metre breaststroke in 29.31 seconds on her ISL debut. Breeja Larson of the New York Breakers was second in 29.70, while Sarah Vasey of the London Roar finished third in 30.11.

In the 100-metre breaststroke on Sunday, the top two positions were reversed as Larson won in 1:03.80 followed by Atkinson in 1:04.23. Annie Lazor of the LA Current took third in 1:04.75.

Atkinson also competed in another individual event, the 50-metre butterfly on Sunday,  and finished sixth in 26.30. Beryl Gastaldello won the event in 25.15, ahead of her LA Current teammate Farida Osman (25.47).

Atkinson was also a member of Team Iron's 4x100-metre medley relay side that placed third in 3:51.85. Mie Nelson of Denmark, world record holder Katinka Hosszú and Ranomi Kromowidjojo, 2012 Dutch double Olympic sprint freestyle champion, were the other members of the team.

London Roar 2 won in 3:47.91.

In the 4x100-metre freestyle,  Atkinson achieved her fastest 100-metre freestyle split of 55.86, but the team could only manage an eighth place in 3:40.63.

The ISL is a franchise-based competition that has teams facing off in a 25-metre pool over two days. The franchises are European and American based

The next meet date for Alia and Team Iron will be at their home ground in Budapest, Hungary from October 26 to 27

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