Atkinson bids emotional farewell to Olympic career - puts hopes for elusive medal in hands of next generation

By Jherard Morris-Sealy July 25, 2021

Veteran swimmer Alia Atkinson shared a few words with her fans after her final race at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The Jamaican took to Instagram and wrote, “It’s funny. Looking back, the years went by so fast and before I realized it, I was looking at the end of it. A question that was asked after my swim today was: Would I give it all up for an Olympic medal? And honestly, I wouldn’t trade this journey for anything. All the ups and downs has made me who I am today (though at times it feels like there are more downs than ups), but it taught me how to get up and God taught me how to smile through it all."

 Atkinson, who made her Olympic debut in 2004, finished third in heat 3 of the Women’s 100m Breaststroke but only just missed out on a semifinal spot. She recorded a time of 1:07:70, which was the 17th fastest, meaning she finished just outside of the qualifiers, with only 16 places up for grabs. It was her only event of the Games.

 “My x5 Olympic journey ends here, but the Olympic medal is still waiting for some Jamaican girl/boy to claim it. I know you can, so keep pushing," she wrote.

 The 31-year-old has not won an Olympic medal for Jamaica, but one of her most notable performances was at the Olympic Games.  At London 2012, she finished fourth in the 100m Breaststroke. She beat Canada’s Tera van Beilen in a swim-off to make it to the final after the two were tied in the semifinal. She then went on to clock 1:06:93 in the final to become the second Jamaican to finish in the top four of an Olympic swimming event.

She ended her Instagram post by writing, “To the future Jamaican Olympic swimming medalist: “I hope the road was/is less rocky for you. If so, then I have indeed succeeded. We have waited a long time for you, so thank you for staying true and carrying the fly high."

Atkinson has indicated that she has not retired fully from swimming and this is just the end of her Olympic journey.

 

Related items

  • 'It's a major concern' - WI Women's team coach Walsh insists better strike rotation a priority 'It's a major concern' - WI Women's team coach Walsh insists better strike rotation a priority

    West Indies Women’s coach Courtney Walsh admits the team’s inability to properly rotate the strike was a disappointment during the recent series against South Africa, as it had been a key area of focus ahead of the games.

    The regional team just managed to avoid being on the wrong end of a sweep, after winning the final game of the series in a super over.  The 4-1 scoreline was, however, an accurate reflection of the fact that the West Indies Women had struggled to keep pace with the South Africans for the great majority of the One Day Internationals.

    One of those key areas was putting runs on the board, with the Windies Women on many occasions looking bogged down by South Africa’s bowling, before being dismissed after ill-advised shots.  On four occasions the team struggled to get to one 150, a target that seemed an easy reach for South Africa.

     “It’s a concern, the rotation of the strike, it’s something we’ve been talking about since the start of the camp but it was highlighted much more against South Africa,” Walsh told members of the media.

    “In terms of just hitting the fielders and not being able to find gaps, not being able to play with soft hands and we have identified that,” he added.

    “It has been an ongoing discussion before the series and it was one area I was disappointed in that we did not try to show that (strike rotation) because leading up to the series we had been practicing it, but match-day when we get out in the middle it wasn’t done.  We just kept picking out the fielders.  It’s the sort of the thing you have to do in 50 over games if you want to really compete and it has to be addressed.”

     

  • ‘High-octane Windies squad built for excitement’ – but may not necessarily win World Cup ‘High-octane Windies squad built for excitement’ – but may not necessarily win World Cup

    Former wicketkeeper batsman, Deryck Murray, believes the Windies World Cup squad has been picked for maximum fireworks even if they do not go on to win the tournament.

    The selection of the final team for the upcoming tournament has caused a torrent of discontent around the Caribbean, with strong opinions regarding which players should have be included or left out making the rounds.

    Despite agreeing that leaving Holder out of the squad was a mistake, he believes the majority of the team was determined over the last three months and has been selected along the lines of a certain philosophy.

    “You saw the team in various matches around and the Caribbean and you could see the pattern of players.  So, it was obvious that what the team has agreed to is what I call a very high-octane policy,” Murray told the Mason and Guest radio program.

    “West Indies are undoubtedly going to be the best team to watch, I’m not sure if they’ll be the best team to support, but every moment of every game they play is going to be exciting,” he added.

    “Every player is put in there to play a little cameo of some sort, batting bowling or whatever and it is going to be thrilling, people or going to be on the edge of their seats. To me what they’ve decided is these players are going to give us winner take all.”

    The West Indies have been placed in a difficult group alongside Australia, England and South Africa.

     

  • Jamaican bobsledder Carrie Russell on the mend after suffering horrific foot injury while training Jamaican bobsledder Carrie Russell on the mend after suffering horrific foot injury while training

    Bobsledder Carrie Russell is on the mend from a horrific injury she suffered from a freak accident in training recently. However, she says she should be fine to begin competing once the bobsled season begins in November.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.