'She deserved gold' - Proud Lyn disappointed with Atkinson's silver
Although proud of the Jamaican's performance, president of the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica, Martin Lyn, admitted disappointment at Alia Atkinson's second-place finish in the 50m breaststroke final at the Commonwealth Games in Australia's Gold Coast.
"Of course, I am disappointed that she didn't win the gold medal. I think she would have deserved it (gold medal). But it is always good to get a medal, and silver is still a great medal competing against the best swimmers in the world. The Australians are in their hometown so they have an advantage," Lyn explained. "The reality is that you will get pressure in the pool from all the different swimmers. But thumbs up to her, she came and she delivered, which is also very good. We have a silver medal."
After recording the fastest time of 30.53 seconds in the semi-final round on Thursday, Atkinson finished second to Sarah Vasey of England, who touched the wall in 30.60 seconds, while the Jamaican stopped the clock at 30.76 seconds. Leiston Pickett of Australia was close behind in 30.78 seconds to win the bronze medal.
The situation was similar to four years ago when the former Texas A&M standout swam the Commonwealth Games record of 30.17 in the preliminaries at those Games then finished second in the final.
And Lyn was cautious going into the final. "I am not ready to say that she will win yet. The last [time] I thought so and she didn't," Lyn said before the race.
Atkinson, though, will continue her quest to win a gold medal, when she starts in the preliminaries of the 100m breaststroke tonight at 9.55 p.m. Jamaica time.
Track and field athletes will also bow into action today. Former Kingston College standout Canigia Raynor will take part in the final of the men's hammer throw at midnight Jamaica time.
Christania Williams will be the first Jamaican to grace the track, when she competes in heat two of the women's 100m preliminaries, while Natasha Morrison and Gayon Evans will compete in heats five and six, respectively.
On the men's side, Yohan Blake will begin his quest to continue Jamaica's dominance of the Commonwealth Games 100m title, when he runs out of heat eight of the preliminaries of the men's 100m. Oshane Bailey (heat three) and Nigel Ellis (heat five) are the other Jamaicans who will also face the starter in the 100m.
Jamaica has won the 100m title since 2006 when Asafa Powell stood atop the podium in Melbourne. Lerone Clarke won gold in Delhi in 2010 with Kemar Bailey-Cole continuing the streak in 2014 in Glasgow.