Trio create historic day for Jamaica in Rio
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:
She is already a world record holder and also the first black woman to win a World Championship title, but having returned to the final of the 100m breaststroke at the Olympic Games, Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson is looking for more.
Like she did four years ago in London, the 27-year-old last night booked her spot in the final of the women's 100m breaststroke after tying for third with USA's Katie Meili in 1:06.52 in her semi-final at the Olympic Aquatic Stadium. The event was won by American Lilly King in 1:05.70.
But while her first trip to the medal round was more of a 'let's have some fun' outing, this time around, with
higher expectations on her shoulders after a strong couple of years, Atkinson is aiming for another first - Jamaica's first medal in Olympic swimming.
"Hopefully, it will come tomorrow," she smiled after last night's swim.
"Four years ago, it was just elation, 'Yay, I made it. Let's just have some fun,' but now it's about getting more, getting a best time. I haven't done that here yet," she added.
She will get that chance when she swims for that medal at 10:54 p.m. (8:54 p.m. Jamaica time).
Perhaps more history awaits in the pool today, but it already arrived on the floor yesterday with gymnast
Toni-Ann Williams becoming Jamaica's first-ever competitor in gymnastics at the Olympic Games.
Williams tallied 50.966 points for an overall rank of 54 after making her rounds, scoring 13.200 on her floor
exercise, 14.100 on the vault, 11.533 on the uneven bars, and 12.133 on the balance beam.
"I am very excited; I know there were some mistakes here. I was targeting a high 52 or low 53 points and
considering the mistakes I made, I think I could have got there. But I am happy with the performance, and I hope it helps to push gymnastics and increase the support around
the programme in Jamaica," Williams said after her
Also yesterday, Timothy Wynter finished second in his men's backstroke heat with a time of 57.20 but did not advance to the next round.
"It's my first Olympics and I'm happy for the experience. I was hoping to go faster, but it was a good swim nonetheless," Wynter shared after his event.