World Champs Silver for Alia Atkinson
Despite her excellent post-Olympic form to date, Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson had to settle for the silver medal in the 50m breaststroke at the FINA World Short Course Championship in Windsor, Canada, yesterday.
Atkinson, who went into the final with the fastest time (29.09), was hoping to avenge her Olympic disappointment and beat the Olympic gold medallist, Lilly King.
But she had to take second in a time of 29.11 as King posted a time of 28.92 to take the gold and become only the fourth woman to go under 29 seconds in that event.
King was expected to present Atkinson with her toughest challenge along with teammate Molly Hannis, one of the other women to break the 29-second barrier. But the American, King, produced her best performance in the event and even went sub-29 seconds for the victory.
Atkinson had a disappointing Olympic Games in Brazil, where she placed eighth in the 100m breaststroke final. The world champion and record holder was hoping to celebrate her return to top form with victory in Canada yesterday and put her below-par performance in Brazil behind her.
Two weeks following her anti-climax in Rio, she dismantled a top field to again tie the world record on day one of the 2016 FINA World Cup in Chartres, France. Then in October at the World Cup Tour in Tokyo, Japan, she bettered the field and shaved a 16th of a second off the 50 short course world record to solely own the new mark of 28.64.
But apart from holding two world records, Atkinson is only one of four women who have gone under the 29-second barrier in the 50 SCM breaststroke along with Russia's Yulia Efimova and American Molly Hannis, and now they have been joined by King.