Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson claimed her second silver medal at the FINA World Swimming Short Course Championships Saturday in Istanbul, Turkey, after she finished second in the women’s 100m breaststroke.
The 24-year-old Atkinson finished with a time of 1:03:80, which is a new national record, erasing her old mark of 1:04:69 that was set last month at the Canada Cup.
Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte won the gold medal and set a new championship record with a time of 1:03:52. American Rebecca Soni previously set the record on December 18, 2010 in Dubai with a time of 1:03:98. Rikke Pedersen from Denmark won the bronze with a time of 1:04:05.
Atkinson attained her first medal at the Championships on Thursday in the 50m breaststroke. She almost claimed her second medal on Friday, but finished fourth in the 100m individual medley.
The Olympian is now the first swimmer from the Caribbean to win two silver medals in a World Championship or Olympic event, which has Allan Marsh ecstatic.
“I am very happy with her performance,” Marsh, who is the vice president of the Jamaica Swimming Association, told Jamaica Gleaner. “I know that she wanted to win the gold medal for Jamaica, but that didn’t happen.”
Marsh went on to add how he thought it was a good swim for Atkinson because she set a new personal record time for herself.
“It shows that she is really coming into her own and her confidence has grown tremendously,” Marsh said.
Atkinson is scheduled to compete in Sunday’s heat three of the women’s 200m breaststroke. Her seed time is 2:26:37, but her personal best is 2:21:65, which was set two years ago.
Marsh believes that Atkinson will qualify for the finals in the event.
“I think she will make the final,” he said. “The 200m breaststroke was one of her main events a couple of years ago and she has been doing well in this championships, and so I think she has a good shot in it.”