Alia Atkinson opens long-course season with two wins and a second-place finish in Florida

By February 11, 2021

Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson opened her long- course season this past weekend in Plantation Florida, winning two gold and a silver medal at the Florida Gold Coast Senior qualifier.

Swimming for South Florida Aquatics, the 32-year-old Atkinson, preparing for what will most likely be her final Olympic Games, this summer, won the 100-metre breaststroke in 1:12.18. She would also win the 50-metre backstroke in 31.66. She was second in the 50-metre freestyle, touching in 26.78.

Her coach, Chris Anderson said Atkinson’s performance was the start of intense preparations towards the summer.

"Alia’s long-course opener last weekend was just the first step, a training meet, setting her up for a series of meets in February and March,” he said.

“Alia is currently training in a high volume in the pool and weight room and is consistently training very well. Alia will continue to progressively get faster at each competition throughout the next two months".

Meanwhile, several other Jamaicans in action at the meet included national age-group record holder Morgan Cogle and her sister Alexandria, both representing Jupiter Dragons Swim Team.

Fifteen-year-old Morgan was seventh in the 50-metre backstroke in 33.44 while Alexandria, her younger sister, recorded a personal best of 30.84 in the 50-metre freestyle and was 50th overall.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • CARIFTA swimmers Sobers, Evans and Carter, hit Olympic 'B' standards CARIFTA swimmers Sobers, Evans and Carter, hit Olympic 'B' standards

    The youth of the CARIFTA region were treated to an excellent performance by Alex Sobers of Barbados who hit three Tokyo Olympic B times at the ISCA International Senior Cup.

  • 124 Olympic/Paralympic aspirants to benefit from JMD$45m in government support 124 Olympic/Paralympic aspirants to benefit from JMD$45m in government support

    The Jamaican government will provide more than JMD$45 million in direct financial support to athletes preparing for this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

  • Record-breaking Alia Atkinson dominates at Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships Record-breaking Alia Atkinson dominates at Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships

    Olympian Alia Atkinson continued in her fantastic form at the 2021 Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships held from March 19-21 in Florida.

    Competing for South Florida Aquatics, Atkinson was at her imperious best winning all three of her individual events to make it 13 victories from 14 starts in 2021.

    Her compatriots, Morgan Cogle of Jupiter Dragons and Simone Vale of Pine Crest Swimming, also competed at the meet with creditable results

    What was outstanding about Atkinson’s swims, was the manner in which she achieved victory.

    In the 100-yard freestyle, she broke ground for herself and Jamaican swimming breaking the national record in the event.

    After cruising to the final as the top seed by virtue of her 50.72 in the preliminary round, she unleashed in the final, taking the first 50 yards in 23.50. She eventually stopped the clock 48.81 winning by more than two seconds.

    She also lowered her previous personal best of 49.64 while breaking the previous record of 49.08 that was set by compatriot, former club teammate and fellow Olympian and friend Natasha Moodie.

    The time also made Atkinson the first Jamaican woman to swim under 49 seconds in the event.

    As it turns out, Atkinson was only just warming up.

    In the 100-yard butterfly, Atkinson lowered her own pool record and Jamaican best of 52.62 to win in 52.01 while showing the field a clean pair of heels winning by almost three seconds.

    She would go on to win the 100-yard breaststroke final by more than three seconds stopping the clock in 58.92 (split time 27.26). The win represented the 10th fastest time of her career and the best she has registered since 2019.

    There would be more trips to top of the podium after splitting 50 yards in 28.09 to propel South Florida Aquatics to victory in the 200-yard medley relay in 1:46.71.

    Cogle swam the opening backstroke leg in 28.47 for her team to finish in 1:51.30.

    In the 200 yard freestyle, the results would be golden for Cogle and her Jupiter Dragons. She split 24.09 to give her team the lead after her second leg.

    Atkinson erased that lead with her third leg split of 23.04. However, the Dragons had too much firepower on the last leg and came back to win 1:37.41 to SFA’s 1:37.59.

    Meanwhile, Cogle continued to achieve personal milestones, the best of which came in the 100-yard backstroke.

    Heading to the senior championships, she held had a personal best time of 1:00.30 in the 100-yard backstroke. She blew that time out of the water clocking 58.89, bettering her previous best by more than a second.

    In the 100-yard freestyle, she lowered her personal best from 53.87 to 52.97.

    She also lowered her previous best in the 50-yard freestyle from 24.92 to 24.76.

    She fell just short of a personal best in the 200-yard freestyle in which she clocked 1:56.69 just shy of her best time of 1:56.42.

    Simone Vale opened her 2021 campaign at this meet and featured in two Championship finals.

    In the 100-yard backstroke, she placed ninth with a time of 59.39. She would also contest the longest backstroke race, the 200-yard event, in which she placed 10th in 2:12.39.

    The South Florida Aquatics Club won the women’s section won with 1013.50 points. Pine Crest was second with 492 points. The Jupiter Dragons were sixth with 273.50 points. The South Florida Aquatics also captured the men and overall titles.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.