Atkinson thrilled to make Jamaica history with Roman

By Sports Desk November 18, 2018

Jamaica Olympian Alia Atkinson expressed delight at having compatriot Breanna Roman alongside her in both the 50m and 100m breaststroke at the FINA World Cup Series finale in Singapore at the weekend.

Atkinson claimed both events, taking the women’s 100m in 1:02.74 and winning the shorter distance in 28.95 seconds.  Roman was fifth in the 50m and sixth over the longer distance.

Apart from the placings, the moment was also of historic significance for the tiny Caribbean nation, as it marked the first time the country has ever had two finalists in a World Cup event.  The significance was not lost on Atkinson.

“Ladies and gentlemen, for the 1st time ever we had 2…read it out loud…TWO Jamaican swimmers in the finals at World cup. Such a fantastic feeling to share this with my fellow countrywoman,” Atkinson said via social media platform Instagram.

Atkinson captured two medals in the series finale to finish on 182 points and 6th overall. Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and Russia’s Vlad Morozov earned the overall series crowns.

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    The executive director of coaching at Real Colorado Soccer also believes there is a lot of uncertain surrounding the programme with just a couple of months to go before the Reggae Girlz take on the final round of Olympic Qualification.

    “The crucial stage of the Olympic qualifiers is coming up, but we already messed that up because we had a game against the USA and we didn't take the game. We would have played the number one team in the world and we didn't take the game, so all this stuff is a setback for us,” said Donaldson.

    “Now we missed the FIFA window; no games and I don't know when we are going to have any friendly games or camps because everything seems to be very difficult. I know Costa Rica wants to play us in January, and that's kind of late, but Costa Rica is still waiting for them to respond, so I don't know,” he said.

    Still, Donaldson believes there is much promise in the Reggae Girlz programme and wants to ensure that that promise is fulfilled.

    “We are going to concentrate on the players because we actually owe it to them. [Hubert] Busby and I, we made a commitment to some of the parents and players for the U-20s and U-17s,” said Donaldson.

    “Again, it is going to be difficult trying to do the U-17s and the U-20s because nobody seems like they are interested on that side. There is interest elsewhere, but we have to find the right people who want to see women's football succeed in Jamaica. Right now it is not happening,” he said.

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