FINA on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Jamaican swimming legend Alia Atkinson to the CHAIR of their Athletes Committee.

FINA is the international federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee for administering international competitions in water sports. The represented disciplines are Swimming; diving; artistic swimming; water polo; open water swimming and high diving.

This appointment in the first instance is effective for four years. In this position, Atkinson will have responsibility for Athletes affairs not only for swimming, but in all water sport disciplines. As Chairperson, she represents the Committee and Athlete voice at the highest level of decision making.

When contacted, Atkinson said how thrilled and honored she was with the appointment and indicated that she is looking forward to making a contribution to the development of swimmers and aquatic sports globally.

“Today marks another significant step forward for both FINA and all aquatics athletes,” said Atkinson.

“The Athletes’ Committee will act as a critical link between athletes and FINA. Having the athlete community choose those who represent them in important decisions is critical for the future development of our beloved sport,” Atkinson added.

Atkinson, the current world record holder in the short course 50m and 100m breaststroke, retired from the sport in 2021 after competing at the World Swimming Championships in December.

She won a total of 31 major championship medals for Jamaica since her debut at the 2004 Summer Olympics including 15 gold, 10 silver and six bronze.

Jamaican swimming legend Alia Atkinson has decided to call it a career after her fourth-place finish in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke at the FINA World Short-course Championships in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Atkinson, 33, announced her retirement from the sport in a post on Instagram after completing her races at the championships.

“Not the meet I hoped for but I am happy to say I finished every ounce of swimming talent God gave me, the bottle empty. Many times, I wanted to quit or give up, but I saw it through to the end,” Atkinson said.

The three-time Jamaica Sportswoman of the Year also offered her fans words of wisdom in her farewell message.

“It’s been a rollercoaster of fun and not so fun moments but always remember to make fun memories…they don’t make themselves, take nothing for granted and enjoy each step both the good and the challenging, let go of the negatives of the day, your best changes daily so do the best you can on that day!” Atkinson added.

Atkinson leaves behind a remarkable legacy in the sport, retiring as the current world-record holder (SC) in both the 50m and 100m with times of 28.56 and 1:02.36, respectively.

“Fun fact: I get to retire with my two World Records intact. That’s something I never thought would happen and this last race reminded me just how remarkable my career was,” she said.

Making her competitive debut for Jamaica at the 2004 Athens Olympics as a 15-year-old, Atkinson went on to amass more than 30 medals in international competition.

She won two medals at the Long-course Swimming Championships, 10 at the Short-course Swimming Championships including four gold, three at the Commonwealth Games, two at the Pan Am Games and 14 at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games including 11 gold.

She offered a last message of gratitude to those who have supported her throughout the years.

“Many thanks to all that have supported me, cheered for me and followed me these past decades. It meant a lot,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson retires as one of Jamaica and the Caribbean's most successful athletes in the history of the sport whose contributions will be talked about for generations.

 

 

 

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson narrowly missed out on a medal in the Women’s 100m breaststroke at the FINA World Short-course Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson advanced to the final of the Women’s 100m Breaststroke at the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Atkinson was the third fastest qualifier into the semi-finals after Atkinson swimming 1:04.88 in Heat 6 to advance.

She then lined up in semi-final 2 where she swam 1:04.26 to finish second and advance as the fourth fastest qualifier to the final.

The final is scheduled for Monday.

Atkinson is seeking to add to her four previous medals at World Short Course Championships, including three gold and one silver.

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.

 

Decorated Jamaica swimmer, Alia Atkinson, failed to qualify for the semifinals of the 100m Breaststroke on Sunday, in what was one of the slower heats.

Competing in Heat 3, the Jamaican swimming sensation clocked 31.48 seconds in her first 50m and held a slight lead over the field at the halfway point.  She, however, faded in the last few metres and returned to touch the wall third, with a time of 1:07.70 seconds.  Atkinson’s second leg split was timed at 36.22.

The heat was won by 19-year-old Lithuanian Kotryna Teterevkova who clocked 1:06.82 to touch first, in the process securing her spot in the semifinals with one of the top 16 fastest times.  German swimmer Anna Elendt also qualified from the heat after finishing second with a time of 1:06.96.

Atkinson was competing in a remarkable fifth straight Olympics.

The fastest time of the round was recorded by South African Tatjana Schoenmaker who smashed American Lilly King’s five-year-old Olympic record, clocking 1:04.82 to win heat five.

The semifinals will get underway on Monday at 8:50 pm.

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.

After two days of sunshine, the heavens opened on the third day of the 2021 Piranha Senior Invite in Plantation, Florida, for the finals but it didn’t change the course of Alia Atkinson’s dominance over the proceedings.

Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson is among the headliners for the Piranhas Senior Invite that began yesterday and runs until Sunday, March 7.

Atkinson, who will be heading to her fifth Olympics in Tokyo, is the number one seed in both 50 and 100-metre breaststroke as well as the 50 and100-metre butterfly at the meet being hosted by the Plantation swim team.

In addition to Atkinson’s presence, another potential highlight is the anticipated heavyweight clash between Brazilian World Championship 50m freestyle silver medalist, Bruno Fratus, and Suriname’s Central American and Caribbean Games 50m freestyle champion Renzo Tjon A Joe, in the sprint freestyle races.

Other swimmers from the Caribbean region looking to sharpen up for the respective bids for the Tokyo Games include St Lucian Jayhan Odlum Smith, Haiti’s Davidson Vincent and Aruba’s Patrick Groters.

Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson continued her winning ways at the multi-site Southern Zone Sectionals that got underway in Coral Springs and Sarasota respectively late last week.

In the 50m butterfly at Coral Springs, Atkinson was in a league of her own as she stopped the clock in 26.61. Second overall went to Olivia Peoples of the Bolles Sharks in Sarasota and Kathryn Giuffdra of Haines City Tritons in Coral Springs who both clocked 27.73.

The time was the Atkinson was under 27 seconds since 2018. It is also her third fastest ever performance and puts her national record of 26.54 in jeopardy.

In the 50m breaststroke Atkinson easily won gold in a time of 31.45.

Second place went to Marcela Scaramuzza of Trinity Prep in 33.10 and Taylor Grabenhorst won bronze in 33.15.

In winning, Atkinson easily demolished her 2021 season-best of 33.47 set last Saturday at Plantation. With her win on Thursday, the national record holder extends her unbeaten streak in the event in America to eight races.

Since 2017, she has turned back all challengers on US soil. She is the only CARIFTA region swimmer to make the World Championship final in the event. She also holds the accolade of being the only medalist in this sprint race.

Meanwhile, national teammate Morgan Cogle, who represents the Jupiter Dragons, lowered her personal best of 33.33 from 2018 in the 50m backstroke crushing it to record 32.67 and place 18th overall.

World Championship representative Keanan Dols who swims for the Gator Swim Club was 21st in the 50-metre butterfly stopping the clock in a time of 26.63.

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.

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