Alia Closes World Cup campaign with a bang

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Photo: Alia Atkinson (AP)

Alia Atkinson crowned herself in triple glory as she ended her FINA/MASTBANK 2014 World Cup series in fine style. Atkinson now regarded by many as the breaststroke queen, showed the world why she suffered only one defeat in this event, when she made a clean sweep of both events contested at the closing meet. The meet was staged at the November 1-2, 2014 at the OCBC Aquatic Centre

Atkinson continued in her record breaking mood coming of the Tokyo meeting over a week ago to race to second fastest time ever by a female and a new Commonwealth record with a 1:02.54 clocking in the 100m breaststroke at the 2014 World Cup in Singapore. The time also erased the Americas continental record 1:02.70 previously held by the USA’s Rebecca Soni. Meilutyte holds the world short-course record of 1:02.36.

Atkinson has now thrown down a hefty gauntlet ahead of the world short-course championships next month. If Atkinson should top the field in this it would be the first major championship title of her career.

Third place in Singapore today went in 1:05.47 to America’s Katie Meili,

Atkinson with a lifetime best (28.94), returned to the pool Sunday to win the 50-metre breaststroke in 29.00 seconds. Again she out-swam main rivals, Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte who was second in 29.26s, while Katie Meili was third in 30.35s.

Atkinson’s time came up just two-tenths short of Jessica Hardy’s 28.80 all-time best.

The 25-year-old Jamaican topped off the meet with another impressive victory in the 200-metre breaststroke in impressive fashion, winning in 2:17.84s over Japan’s Rita Imai 2:20.61 and Russia’s Maria Astashkina 2:21.92s.

Alia Atkinson who was neck and neck in the race for third place with Spain’s Mireia Belmonte however the Jamaican won the tie-breaker, as she had the highest finish in any of the cluster after taking second overall in the third cluster with 162 points.

Helping Atkinson with that big surge was her 24-point bonus for putting up the top overall swim of the Singapore meet.

That broke Hosszu’s streak of earning the top performance bonus at all 6 previous World Cup meets. Hosszu, who really seemed to wear down as the series went on, still earned the third bonus.

The top female performers for the Singapore meet were 1. Alia Atkinson, 100 breast: 1:02.54 (991 FINA points, 2, Mireia Belmonte, 400 IM: 4:22.68 (979 FINA points) 3, Katinka Hosszu, 400 IM: 4:23.66 (968 FINA point
Katinka Hosszu 994 points: repeated as World Cup points champions. Atkinson finished third on 321 points.

Both were separated by Inge Dekker of Netherlands on 372 points.