Jamaica’s swim queen Alia bows out from the world stage

ATKINSON Alia LON London Roar (LON) ISL International Swimming League 2021 Match 8 day 1 Piscina Felice Scandone Napoli, Naples Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, December 20, 2021–South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson took her final bow on the world stage Monday at the 15th FINA Short Course World Championships at Etihad Arena.

The five-time Jamaican Olympian, after being disqualified earlier in the week in the 50-meter breaststroke semifinals, bounced back to finish fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:04.03, her signature event and one she shares the world record (1:02.36) with Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte.

In her last hurrah, Atkinson, 33, finished behind China’s Qianting Tang (1:03.47, Asian record), Sweden’s Sophie Hansson (1:03.50) and Ireland’s Mona McSharry (1:03.92) in her final competitive meet. She had won the 100 breaststroke in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Alia later posted:

Not the meet I hoped for but I am happy to say I finished every ounce of swimming talent God gave me, the bottle empty. Many times I wanted to quit or give up, but I saw it through to the end.

It’s been a rollercoaster of fun and not so fun moments but always remember to:

🌟Make fun memories…they don’t make themselves.

🌟take nothing for granted and enjoy each step both the good and the challenging.

🌟 Let go of the negatives of the day.

🌟Your best changes daily, so do the best you can on that day!

Fun fact: ✌🏾I get to retire with my 2 world records in tact.✌🏾 That’s something I never thought would happen and this last race reminded just how remarkable my career was.

🏊🏾‍♀️ Swimmer Alia you were truly a beast.🏊🏾‍♀️

 🎊 Congratulations 🎊 and enjoy your well deserved rest.

Many thanks to @speedo and @gkmsonline that has stayed with me this long. 💙💛

Many many thanks to all that have supported me, cheered for me and followed me these past (decades 😄). It meant alot❤❤❤

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