With her bronze medal performance in the 100m breaststroke Tuesday night at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, Alia Atkinson became the first Jamaican swimmer to medal at a long course World Championships.
Atkinson touched the wall third behind eventual winner Yuliya Efimova of Russia and 100m breaststroke world record holder Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania.
Atkinson put up a time of 1:06.42, just six one-hundredths of a second behind Meuilutyte. With her time, Atkinson was also just shy of the Jamaican national record she set in the semifinals.
The swim for Atkinson marks her best international showing in a long course pool to date. Prior to this meet, she took silver in the 100m breaststroke at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. In 2014, she was third in the 100m breaststroke at the Commonwealth Games.
Being the first Jamaican swimmer to win a long course worlds medal isn’t the only first Atkinson and Jamaica have had this year. Earlier in the season, Atkinson became the first Jamaican swimmer to ever win a world championship title. She was also the fist black woman to ever win a swimming world title.
Atkinson came in strong on the back-half in that race in Doha in order to win the gold and tie the world record in the event. At long course worlds she tried a different strategy, going out hard with the leaders and trying to hold on.