Blueseventy Swim of the Week: 50 Meters & A Big Paycheck For Atkinson


Disclaimer: BlueSeventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The BlueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

FINA’s World Cup format offers an interesting opportunity to continually track the prize money associated with one single swim. But in recent memory, there hasn’t been a swim worth more per meter than Alia Atkinson‘s 50 breaststroke in Tokyo.

Atkinson won the race, which netted $1500 (or $30 a meter). She also broke a world record in 28.64, which added a massive $10,000 bonus (call that an additional $200 per meter swum).

Those world record bonuses are how swimmers make the quickest money on the World Cup tour, but the biggest paycheck come for cluster and series bonuses, which Atkinson is also in line to receive.

Her win brought in the standard 12 points, and her world record added 20 bonus points. But the swim also ranked #1 in FINA points for all swimmers in the meet, garnering another 24 bonus points through the World Cup “Performance” bonus. All in all, the swim checks in at 56 total points.

Atkinson currently sits 2nd in the cluster points – well behind Katinka Hosszu but only up 32 on third-place Yulia Efimova. Take away those 56 points from the 50 breast and Atkinson would drop to just 6th in cluster points. In terms of cluster bonuses, that would be a drop from $35,000 to just $5000.

Atkinson is also second in overall series points with 417. Her closest challenger is Jeanette Ottesen at 396. Take away the 56-point 50 breast effort and Atkinson drops all the way to 361. That’s a potential swing of $20,000 – from $50K to $30K.

Of course, a win without a world record wouldn’t drop Atkinson the full 56 points, and it’s certainly possible that she takes 2nd in the cluster and series by more than that 56-point margin. But in terms of pure math, if the World Cup tour ended today, that 50-meter, 28.46-second swim would net Atkinson:

  • $1500 in medal prize money
  • $10,000 in world record bonuses
  • $30,000 in cluster 3 bonuses
  • $20,000 in overall series bonuses

…for a grand total of $61,500. That’s  whopping $1230 per meter and more by itself than all but 7 others have made on the World Cup tour this entire year.

The World Cup wraps up this weekend in Hong Kong. Stay tuned to SwimSwam for full coverage and final points and money lists.


There isn’t a second that goes by when the team at blueseventy aren’t thinking about you. How you eat, breathe, train, play, win, lose, suffer and celebrate. How swimming is every part of what makes you tick. Aptly named because 70% of the earth is covered in water, blueseventy is a world leader in the pool and open water. Since 1993, we design, test, refine and craft products using superior materials and revolutionary details that equate to comfort, freedom from restriction and ultimately a competitive advantage in the water. This is where we thrive. There is no substitute and no way around it. We’re all for the swim.

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Baker\'s Pearl Earrings

That’s roughly $2200 dollars per second!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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