Alia Atkinson glad 50-m breaststroke gold is finally hers

By December 12, 2018

Alia Atkinson said she didn’t consider herself the top dog in the 50m breaststroke coming into the 2018 World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou, China.

The Jamaican short-course star had just won her first gold medal at the championships on Wednesday, a day after her 30th birthday on Tuesday.

But even though she has dominated the 50m breaststroke event for the past three seasons on the FINA World Cup, she didn’t think it meant the gold medal was already hers.

“Considering the World Cup schedule and I broke the world record two months ago in Budapest, I don't think myself as the top dog in the 50m breaststroke," she said.

And who could blame her? In previous editions, she had swum her best or close to her best but came up short.

In Istanbul, Turkey in 2012, Atkinson set a national record of 29.67s but had to settle for the silver medal in the race won by Ruta Meilutyte, who set a new championship and European record of 29.44.

History repeated itself in Doha in 2014 when the Lithuanian again took the gold in 28.84 to Atkinson’s 28.91. Then in Ontario in 2016, it was the turn of American Lilly King to play spoiler.

She took the gold in 28.92 while the Jamaican again had to settle for the silver medal in a time of 29.11.

In 2018, she came in prepared to do her best and hope that the gold medal that had eluded her for so long would finally within reach.

“Once in the final, everybody can win the race,” she said. “It is my first gold at the worlds. I was very happy about that.”

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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