Fri | Dec 4, 2020

Strong start to Atkinson’s season

Published:Tuesday | October 20, 2020 | 12:11 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter

Champion swimmer Alia Atkinson marked her return to competition with wins as her team, the London Roar, captured victory in their first match of the 2020 International Swimming League in Budapest, Hungary, which ended yesterday.

The Roar finished with 609.5 points after the two-day meet, which started on Sunday and which was held in a biosecure environment because of COVID-19 protocols. Team Ion came second with 392.5 points. DC Tridents came third with 350.0 points, and the Aqua Centurions finished fourth with 344 points.

Atkinson has been inactive since March because of the pandemic, but on Sunday, she resumed her 2020 season with wins in the 50m breaststroke in a time of 29.20 seconds ahead of Team Ion’s Ida Hulkko, who came second in 29.45 seconds. Victory in the 50m breaststroke was followed by success in the 4x100m medley relay as the team comprising Atkinson, Kira Toussaint, Marie Wattel, and Maria Kameneva won in 3:50:27 minutes.

Atkinson continued her winning form on day two of the series yesterday, capturing the 100m breaststroke event in a time of 1:04:21 minutes. Martina Carraro of the Aqua Centurions finished second in 1:04:49 minutes. Carraro’s teammate, Arianna Castiglioni, came in third in 1:04:64 minutes. She finished second in the 100m individual medley in a time of 58.97 seconds behind her teammate, Kameneva, who won in 58.86 seconds.

Atkinson, 31 years old, who joined the Roar from Hungarian-based Team Ion, finished tied for 11th in the match MVP standings, having accumulated 32 points, which also ties her for 21st place in the season’s MVP race.

The Roar are now tied for first place with the California Condors with four points after one match each. The Roar’s next fixture will be against the DC Trident, LA Current, and the Tokyo Frog Kings from October 30-31.