Sports minister Grange hails inspirational record breaker Atkinson

By Sports Desk October 07, 2018
Jamaica's Alia Atkinson. Jamaica's Alia Atkinson.

Jamaica minister of sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange has hailed the persistence of Olympian Alia Atkinson who broke the women’s 50-metre breaststroke world record at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Budapest, Hungary, on Saturday.

Atkinson powered to gold in a new world best time of 28.5, eclipsing her own previous record on 28.64, which was set in 2016.  Russian Yuliya Efimova took silver in 29.22, while American Molly Hannis (29.51) captured the bronze medal.

In describing Atkinson as ‘phenomenal’, Grange added that she believed the swimmer had firmly put what she had considered a disappointing Commonwealth Games behind her.

“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,” Grange said via a press release.

“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,” she added.

Atkinson previously broke 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.

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