Monday 24 February, 2020

Alia on top of the world again; Grange sends congratulatory message

Sport Minister, Olivia Grange, has congratulated  Alia Atkinson who set a world record in the women’s 50-metre breaststroke at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Budapest, Hungary on Saturday.

The Jamaican swimming sensation sped to victory in 28.56 seconds to better the old world record of 28.64 which she had established in 2016.

Russian Yuliya Efimova finished second in 29.22, and American Molly Hannis (29.51) and Australian Emily Seebohm (29.96) were also under 30 seconds.

Minister Grange described Atkinson as a “phenomenal athlete who continues to do extraordinary things.”

According to Minister Grange who is attending a UNESCO meeting in Paris, “this is an extraordinary Alia."

“I know she felt personal disappointment with her performance at the Commonwealth Games, but we were proud of her silver medal. But now here she is five months later breaking her world record.

“It goes to show, we must never give up.  Alia continues to be an inspiration for us all and we are all very proud of this latest achievement,” said Grange in a statement.

Atkinson had broken the 2009 mark of American Jessica Hardy (28.80) at the Tokyo stop of the World Cup circuit in 2016, and with this swim now owns eight swims under 29 seconds, a feat only done 14 times in history.

Also in the sub-29 club is Lithuanian swimmer Ruta Meilutyte (three times, best of 28.81) and American Lilly King (once, 28.92), with Hardy having done so twice herself.

In addition to owning eight of the 14 sub-29 swims in history, the 29-year-old Atkinson also owns five of the all-time top-10.

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