Rio monkey off Alia's back
Jamaica's swimming flag-bearer Alia Atkinson admitted that her Olympic embarrassment was a major motivator in her three-medal performance at the just-concluded World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor, Canada.
Atkinson, got a medal of every colour, striking gold in the 100m breaststroke, silver in the 50m breaststroke and bronze in the 100m Individual Medley to bring a positive end to a year that saw the height of a short course 50m breaststroke world record in Tokyo preceded by a shocking eight-placed finish in the 100m breaststroke final art the Rio Olympics.
The Jamaican explained that she struggled to speak about her Olympic swim because she was too embarrassed to do so and had not yet figured out what went wrong. She did, however, underscore that she was driven to put that behind her and prove her quality.
"I had all eyes on me (at the Olympics), track and field and all the other sports were interested, Jamaica was finally interested in swimming, the world was finally looking to see what Alia Atkinson could do and I think it was more of an embarrassment why I didn't want to come out and speak about it because I did not know why yet," said Atkinson.
"I wasn't happy with the Olympic final and I think everybody could see that but I wanted to show the world that I am better than that and to prove to myself that I am better than that as well," added Atkinson.