Alia Atkinson capped off her strong 2020 ISL campaign with two second-place and a third place finish during the weekend finals when last season’s runners up, London Roar, finished third.

Build, battle and get better is the motto Alia Atkinson will be using to motivate herself and her teammates as the London Roar head into this weekend’s final of the International Swimming League in Budapest.

Having to settle for three second-place finishes on Saturday, Alia Atkinson came out Sunday with a vengeance winning the 100m breaststroke in a time just shy of her world record.

The 31-year-old Olympian won the swim in 1:02.66, just out her world record of 1:02.36 in the semi-finals of the International Swimming League. It was the only time under 1:03 this year and is her fourth fastest time ever in the event.

As the London Roar make the push for the final, Atkinson stepped to meet the occasion winning by a clear 0.89s over Bennedetta Pilato (1:03.55) of reigning champions Energy Standard and Emily Escobedo of New York Breakers (1:04.31).

She was also a member of the Roar’s 4x100m medley relay team that clocked 3:46.59 to finish second to Energy Standard’s 3:45.58.

The win earned Atkinson and her team a valuable 15 points, which she added to the 12.5 points she won on Saturday.

It was another day of standout performances from the 31-year-old Jamaican who was second to Pilato (28.86) in the 50m breaststroke, touching in a quick 29.30.

Also on Saturday, Atkinson was seventh in 100m butterfly in a new national record of 57.13, breaking the record of 57.21 set on November 9.

When Alia Atkinson won the 50m breaststroke for the London Roar on Friday, it extended her win-streak to 12 dating back four years. The last time she lost a race in the 50m breaststroke was at the 2016 Short Course Championships where she won silver.

She followed up on Saturday, winning the 100m breaststroke in 1:03.75 ahead of teammate Annie Lazor (1:04.45) in a 1-2 finish that gave the Roar a 35-point lead. In between, she was a member of the London Roar’s winning 4x100m medley relay team and she also won her Skins races in 29.61 and 29.89, respectively that earned her and her team triple points.

The performances have meant that she was third in the MVP list for the meet.

But even as she continues to rack up victories for her new ISL team, the 2018 World Championship double-gold medalist believes her best performances are still to come.

“The plan is to build and get better each meet,” the 50m world-record holder said while speaking with Sportsmax.TV.

“This meet I did what I needed to secure the win for my team, but on a personal note, I would have liked to feel more ‘sprinty’ and strong in the races.  I need a bit more time to feel like my faster self. I am still 1.5 seconds away in the 100 and a second a way in the 50.”

Regarding her 50m win streak, she said there was no mystery as to why she has not lost a race in four years.

“It’s not a secret. I actually don't think about the streak and treat every race like it's the first,” she said.

At the end of action on Saturday, the London Roar hold a slim lead over the LA Current. The Roar have amassed 499 points with the Current on 478.5 points. Tokyo Frog Kings are on 446.5 points.

 

Team captain Alia Atkinson had another strong showing for the London Roar during the latest match today of the International Swimming League in Budapest. The Jamaican Olympian once again won the 50m breaststroke and was a member of the 4x100m medley relay that also finished first as the Roar produced another strong showing.

Atkinson extended her unbeaten streak in the 50m breast to 12 dating back four years when she delivered a strong performance to win in 29.66 and earn 10 valuable points for her team. It was the second time that she led the Roar to a 1-3 finish as team Annie Lazor came home in 30.20.

The Roar teammates were split by Lindsey Kozelsky of the DC Tridents who touched in 30.02.

Atkinson then swam the second leg of the 4x100m medley relay in what was another 1-3 finish for the Roar.

The team of Atkinson, Kira Toussaint, Marie Wattel and Freya Anderson won the event in 3:47.85 almost three seconds clear of Tokyo Frog Kings (3:50.41) and London Roar’s second team, who finished in 3:51.72.

Alia Atkinson and Guilherme Guido have been named co-captains for London Roar’s second round of competition set to begin on Friday.

Atkinson was impressive on debut for the International Swimming League franchise winning the 50m breaststroke on October 18. She was also a member of the Roar’s winning 4x100m medley relay team.

The affable Jamaican swimming star was humbled by the appointment.

“Such a privilege! So excited for Match #2,” she said on Instagram.

Atkinson is having her first season with the London Roar after competing for Team Iron last season. She was among 17 new additions to the London Roar roster prior to the start the current season.

Her co-captain is a  Brazilian backstroke swimmer who specializes in the sprint events and who has won gold medals at the World Short Course Championships and the Pan Am Games.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter of the LA Current edged closer to his national record in the 100-metre backstroke after finishing fourth in the event as action in the International Swimming League in Budapest resumed on Sunday.

Carter erased his season best of 51.28 from a just over a week ago when he stopped the clock in 50.85. His form has been improving as competition in the ISL intensifies. He has witnessed improvement in his  opening speed as well as his ability to maintain speed in the latter stages of the race.

On Sunday, Carter was second at the half-way mark before finishing fourth.

Notwithstanding the fourth-place finish, Carter is putting the national record on notice that it is in jeopardy of being lowered before the end of the  ISL season. Carter is now the only swimmer in the CARIFTA and CCCAN federations to have gone below 51 seconds and he has now done it twice.

The race was won by Ryosuke Irie of the Tokyo Frog Kings in a time of 49.91,threatening his Japanese national record of 49.65. Irie won the bronze at the World Championships in this event in 2014 in 50.12.

Second place went to Irishman Shane Ryan of the Toronto Titans in 50.22. The reigning World Championship silver medalist in the 50-metre backstroke lowered his national record from 50.41.

Third place went to Ryan Murphy, Carter’s teammate and the current long-course World Champion in 50.42. The LA Current’s Team Manager Lenny Krayzelburg swept the backstroke events for the US at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The LA Current took the win with 535.50 points. The Tokyo Frog Kings were next best with 506.5 points. Third place was occupied by the Toronto Titans with 401 points. The Aqua Centurions re fourth with 260 points.

 

 

Alia Atkinson chalked up wins, her first for the London Roar, in Budapest on Sunday.

Jamaica swimmer Alia Atkinson claimed top spot for team Iron in the women’s 100 metre breaststroke at the 2019 International Swimming League (ISL) in Budapest on Sunday.

After winning the women’s 50 event on the previous day’s competition, Atkinson shot out like a bullet and led the race from wall to wall as she clocked 1:03.84 for the victory. 

The Jamaican managed to hold off a late-race charge from American Breeja Larson who was second in 1:04.40.  Larson finished just ahead of compatriot Annie Lazor who was third with a time of 1:04.41.  Atkinson, who was second in the event last week, was the only swimmer to finish under 1:04.

The win claimed vital points for team Iron.

“It was pretty good coming off the 200 (on Saturday). It came together. I think that was our best placing in the 100, so it’s on up and up,” Atkinson said following the race.

 

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