Sun | May 24, 2020

Atkinson fine-tuning for Commonwealth Games

Published:Tuesday | March 20, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Twice a silver medallist in 2014, Alia Atkinson will be fine-tuning her swimming skills in time for this year's Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Atkinson says that her performance at a meet earlier this month has encouraged her about her prospects at the Games. At the same time, that meet has shown her what she has to do to improve.

The 29-year-old Jamaican swam into the A final of the 100 metre breaststroke at the TYR Swim Series in Atlanta on March 3 and 4 with a time of 1 minute 08.70.

Speaking last week, Atkinson said: "I have about three or four more weeks, but I think the meet was good because it showed me where I lacked and where I needed to improve on."

She clocked a time of 1 minute 09.31 seconds in the final and found enough energy to do some speed work in the 50 -metre freestyle, which she swam in 25.94 seconds.

Bringing things together

Continuing in the same vein, she said: "So I'm still trying to fine-tune everything to bring it all together."

She expects to do well when the swimming competition starts at the Games in Australia on April 5, despite the presence of quality swimmers from Canada, England and the host nation.

"I actually looked at the British and Australian championships to see how they were doing and stuff, and I'm right there with them going into it," Atkinson noted.

The Australians will enjoy the support of their countrymen but the holder of the short course 100-metre breaststroke world record isn't overly concerned.

"It definitely does give them a home advantage, but I'd like to think that all these years of swimming have given me the experience advantage, so if anything, it will just be more cheering," Atkinson said.

"All you have to do is mentally train that into thinking that they're cheering for you", intoned the veteran of four Commonwealth Games and four Olympic Games.