Performance of the Week: Alia Atkinson’s World Record Tie

Jul 17, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Alia Atkinson of Jamaica competes in the women's 100m breaststroke final the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel/USA Today Sports Images

This week saw a return to international racing in a big way at the first 2016 FINA World Cup Circuit meet in Paris, France. While there were two world records during the two-day stop of short course racing (and every world record is something to be celebrated), one stood out for the sheer unpredictability of it. Alia Atkinson did something few people manage to do once (let alone twice) in a swimming career when she tied the world record in the 100 breaststroke for a second time.

While the time itself is impressive (1:02.36 by the way), Atkinson has already been that fast with a matching time from the 2014 Short Course World Championships in Doha. The original world record had come just a year earlier courtesy of Lithuanian breaststroker Ruta Meilutyte at the 2013 World Cup stop in Moscow. Out in a 29.33 this time around, the Jamaican swimmer was out under world record pace for both previous swims before falling off a few tenths in the back half to finish in a matching time. Atkinson herself was out in 29.46 the first time she tied it, while Meilutyte was out in 29.56 when she set the original record.

Atkinson is coming off of a seventh place finish in the 100 meter breaststroke at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, where she finished in 1:06.72. Her best short course international finish was back at 2014 Short Course Worlds in Doha, when she won gold and tied the world record in the 100 breaststroke for the first time. That also made Atkinson the first black woman to win an individual world championship title.

Congratulations Alia Atkinson on earning Swimming World’s Performance of the Week!

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