Champion swimmer Alia Atkinson will be aiming to cop Jamaica’s first medal at the 15th FINA World Short Course Championship when she contests the women’s 100-metre breaststroke final in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, today.
Atkinson, who was disqualified from the 50m breaststroke on the first day of action at the temporary 25m pool at the Etihad Arena, now has an opportunity to make amends, as she enters the final ranked fourth and will swim out of lane six.
Following the misfortune which prevented her from defending her 50m breaststroke World Short Course Championship title, and also ended an unprecedented medal-winning run dating back to 2012, Atkinson swam a number of relays to maintain some form ahead of yesterday’s 100m breaststroke.
The five-time Olympian, who has the 100m breaststroke record of 1:02.36 minutes, clocked 1:04.88 minutes for third in heat six, behind Sweden’s Sophie Hansson (1:04.50) and Ireland’s Mona McSharry (1:04.59).
In the semi-final, the 33-year-old Atkinson improved on her performance, clocking 1:04.26 minutes for second, again behind Hansson, who won in 1:04.17 minutes.
The 100m breaststroke final, which is expected to be Atkinson’s last race of her decorated career – which started at age 15 – is scheduled for 9:00 am (Jamaica time).
Meanwhile, young sensation Zaneta Alvaranga will also be in action today in the women’s 50m freestyle, which is also her final event of this seven-day championship.
Sidrell Williams wrapped up his schedule yesterday with a fourth-place finish in his heat of the men’s 50m butterfly event. Williams clocked 24.67secs to place 52nd overall in a field of 84 swimmers.
Keanan Dols is the other member of Jamaica’s four-member team.