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UPDATE: Alia swims into semis with confidence
2012-07-29 07:28:59 | (0 Comments)
Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
ATKINSON: I now have even more confidence going into tonight's semi-final - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson, buoyed by an impressive national record of 1:07.39 at the Aquatics Centre in the 100m breaststroke heats moments ago, has now turned her attention on this evening's semi-final, confident that she will be able to secure a spot in tomorrow's Olympic final.
Atkinson, who competed in Heat Three, became the first Jamaican to win a heat at the Olympic Games.
Leading from start to finish, and although there is obvious work to be done in her endurance in the last 25m, the 23 year-old thinks she definitely has enough in the tank to push her to the finals and keep up with the fastest qualifiers.
SEE: OLYMPIC SCHEDULE HERE
Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte, with a time of 1:05.56 is the fastest qualifier to the semi-final.
"Because it was such a good time and I felt so much control, I now have even more confidence going into tonight's semi-final. I'm usually a better afternoon swimmer so I’m glad I'll finally get the chance to swim in the afternoon," Atkinson told The Gleaner.
"My pull out is usually longer than anybody else's so I am usually ahead but then they usually catch me up because my stroke rate is a lot quicker, so the plan was to stay ahead and bring it back home in the last 50m," Atkinson added, when asked about her race plan ahead of the heat.
"I was a bit nervous as to how I was going to swim because I haven’t raced in probably two months, so I was pretty nervous about how that was going to go down."
"I know I have to drop some more time and make the last 25m a little stronger, but the final is definitely possible for me. I'm not that far away, except the top two, so I’m pretty close to them so all I need is a better touch or turn," Atkinson reasoned.
Atkinson, who says she is looking to become the most successful Jamaican swimmer by getting a medal at the Olympic Games, will feature in the 100m breaststroke at 7:50 p.m (1:50 p.m Jamaica time).
She will also compete in the 200m breaststroke and the 50m freestyle.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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