Alia Atkinson in pole position for second gold at World Swimming Championships

By December 14, 2018

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson remained on course for a third consecutive 100m breaststroke medal at the World Swimming Championships on Friday by winning her semi-final heat in the fastest time of the championships so far.

With wins in the event in Qatar in 2014 and again in Ontario in 2016, the 30-year-old Atkinson is in pole position to win a third in Hangzhou.

Atkinson, who celebrated her 30th birthday on Tuesday, took a big step towards that goal when she won her semi-final heat in 1:04.07, the fastest time going into Saturday’s final.

Fanny Lecluyse of Belgium was 0.75s behind the Jamaican in the heat in 1:04.82 while Jenna Laukkanen of Finland, who was third in the heat, touched in 1:05.01 to book a spot in the final.

Japan’s Kanako Watanabe also made it into the final by finishing fourth in Atkinson’s semi-final in 1:05.09.

For Atkinson to win the gold medal, though, she will have to hold off the challenge of Australia’s Jessica Hansen, who comfortably won the second semi-final in 1:04.11, the second fastest time going in.

The USA’s Katie Mieli, who was second in that semi in 1:04.54, could also prove to be an obstacle to the Jamaican’s quest.

Jinglin Shi of China also qualified for the final by finishing third in 1:04.73 while 50m silver medallist Martina Carraro of Italy also qualified with a time of 1:04.87 for fourth.

If Atkinson wins on Saturday morning, it will be her third medal at these championships following up on her gold medal in the 50m breaststroke on Wednesday and the bronze she won in the 100m medley on Friday.

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 he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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