This win is more than about me, says Alia
Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson is in awe over her historic gold-medal win in the women's 100m breaststroke final at the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Atkinson, who attained the feat in a world record-matching 1:02.36, became the first black woman to win the event since Enith Brigitha of The Netherlands did so 40 years ago.
"This is more than about me. A country ... a nation, a race," said Atkinson, who turns 26 on Thursday.
No sooner had Atkinson captured the coveted title than social media went buzzing about her achievement.
Her Twitter handle @AliAtki was flooded with congratulatory messages.
She even went ahead and posted her picture with the coveted gold medal on Instagram, saying, "First Jamaican swimmer, first female swimmer from the Caribbean, and I believe first black female swimmer in over 40 yrs. This is not just mine."
However, Atkinson did not immediately realise that she had equalled the world record.
"I was pretty shocked. I'm not used to seeing my name up there at number one," she told reporters after her win.
"Going into the last finish, I saw her (Ruta Meilutyte) beside me and I thought 'Please, just finish!' not like in the 50 (50m breaststroke final). I was just focused on swimming straight to the wall.
"I was trying to time the finish and we know how that worked out in the 50 (50m breaststroke final), so I was hoping not to repeat the same thing. After the 50 (50m breaststroke final), I knew things could turn around, so I just had to keep my head in check and keep a positive outlook," she added.
Atkinson had ended second to cop silver in the 50m breaststroke final.