Atkinson swims into semis at Olympics, Wynter falls short
Ryon Jones & Andre Lowe, Gleaner Reporters
Jamaica experienced mixed results in the pool inside the Olympics Aquatics Stadium on today’s third day of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Alia Atkinson finished second in Heat 5 of the Women's 100m Breaststroke with a time of 1:06.72 to progress with the seventh best time into tonight’s semi-finals set for 8:29 p.m (Jamaica time).
"It was a pretty good swim, I just wanted to go out there to do a good swim to make it to the semis," Atkinson told The Gleaner.
"I wanted to make sure I didn't go out too fast, but I think tonight I will have more energy for the semi-final," she added.
The heat was won by Russia’s Yulia Efimova in 1:05.79 to be the second fastest qualifier into the semis behind Lilly King (1:05.78) of the USA.
Timothy Wynter, however, failed to book his spot despite placing second in the heats of the Men’s 100m Backstroke with a time of 57.20.
"I'm not really satisfied because I have been going faster but it's my first time at the Olympics so I'm happy anyway," Wynter said.
The heat was won by Merdan Atayev of Turkmeniston in 56.34.
France’s Camille Lacourt, 52.96, leads all qualifiers into the semi-finals set for 9:12 p.m.
PROFILE: Alia Atkinson
Age: 27 years old
High School: Charles W. Flanagan High School
Tertiary Education: Texas A&M International University
Event(s): Women’s 100m breast-stroke
Personal Best: 1:02.36s
She began swimming at age four at the YMCA in St Andrew, Jamaica.
In 2012, Alia won silver medals at the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, becoming the first Jamaican swimmer to medal at a global tournament.
Alia Atkinson’s time tied Ruta Meilutyte’s world record of 1:02.36 from the Moscow stop of the FINA World Cup.
Alia Atkinson is the first ever black woman to win a world swimming title.
Alia Atkinson works with the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Florida to promote swimming to youngsters from different communities.
IN PHOTO: Wynter
PROFILE: Timothy Wynter
Age: 20 years old
High School: Phillips Academy
Tertiary Education: University of Southern California
Event(s): Men’s 100m backstroke
Personal Best: 56.15
Wyter holds the short and long course national records in the 50m (26.47) and 100m backstroke (56.15).
Wynter has a wealth of experience having competed at the 2014 Youth Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2013 FINA Junior World Championships and the 2012 Short Course World Championships.
He has been working closely with top Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson.