Alia Atkinson, Swimming Champ, Shocked By Gold Medal Win in Qatar

Alia Atkinson
Alia Atkinson

*Apparently, some black people can swim.

And Alia Atkinson (pictured above) found it hard to compose herself after hearing she had won a gold medal in the 100m breaststroke at the World Short Course Championships in Doha, Qatar on Saturday.

According to the BBCshe also became the first black woman to win a world title in swimming.

The 25-year-old swimmer hails from Jamaica. She placed fourth at the 2012 London Olympics and even won three world short-course silver medals in the 50m and 100m breaststroke before that. Atkinson also  tied for the world record with the reigning champ, Ruta Meilutyte from Lithuania.

Atkinson won by a hair at the halfway mark against her competitor, Meilutyte, on Saturday, with her victory coming in by a tenth in 1:02.36.  Meilutyte finished in 1:02.46.

The two women will now share the world record in the race, with the meet record going to Atkinson. Atkinson’s time tied Meilutyte’s world record of 1:02.36, which she won previously in Moscow.

The first black woman swimmer to claim a world title victory also accomplished yet another first as the recipient of Jamaica’s first ever gold in world swimming championships.

Atkinson’s historic win is reminiscent of Enith Brigitha’s (pictured in water below) iconic victory in the 70s.

Enith Brigitha

Read about Brigitha at News One.

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