Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Alia's last splash ... swimming sensation places eighth in breaststroke final

Published:Monday | August 8, 2016 | 8:24 PM
Alia Atkinson reacts after the results were posted indicating her eighth place finish in the 100m breaststroke final - Ricardo Makyn
Alia Atkinson awaiting the results of the 100m breaststroke final - Ricardo Makyn
Swimming out of lane seven Atkinson was the last off the blocks and never recovered to finish at the back of the field in 1:08.10.
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Jamaica’s swimming sensation Alia Atkinson emerged from the Olympics Aquatics Stadium pool at the 2016 Rio Games in eighth position in the women’s 100m breaststroke.

Swimming out of lane seven Atkinson was the last off the blocks and never recovered to finish at the back of the field in 1:08.10.

The gold medal was captured by 19-year-old American Lilly King in a new Olympic record of 1:04.93 with Russia’s Yulia Efimova, 1:05.50, taking the silver and USA’s Katie Meli bronze in 1:05.69.

Dethroned champion Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania was seventh in 1:07.32.

The 27-year-old Atkinson, who was making her second consecutive final at this her fourth Olympics, was aiming to join cyclist David Weller in winning an Olympic medal for Jamaican in a non-athletics event with him having done so in 1980.

Atkinson, who is the first black woman to win a World Championships title, is the joint world record holder in the event sharing the time of 1:02.36 with Meilutyte.

- Ryon Jones

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
Interesting Facts:
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.