SWIMMING: Alia Atkinson strikes gold in world record-matching time
Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Alia Atkinson made history for Jamaica today when she equaled the world record in the100 breaststroke at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Atkinson touched just ahead of defending champion Ruta Meilutyte to claim the gold and equal the record of 1:02.36.
Meilutyte was clocked in 1:02.46.
The winning time was also a new meet record.
It is Jamaica’s first short course world title - a big improvement on Atkinson's achievement as the only Jamaican swimmer to ever finish with silver medals in the 50 breaststroke in 2012 and 2014 and the 100 breaststroke in 2012.
Atkinson’s time tied Ruta Meilutyte’s world record of 1:02.36 from the Moscow stop of the FINA World Cup.
It also broke Meilutyte’s meet record of 1:02.43 from yesterday during qualifying rounds.
Meilutyte’s time of 1:02.46 came up just short of making Meilutyte the first woman to ever defend this event’s title.
Atkinson also became the first black woman to hold a world short-course record since Enith Brigitha of the Netherlands 40 years ago.
Brigitha set the 100m freestyle standard three times in her career.
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