Jamaica will only be sending 1 swimmer, and 2 aquatic athletes in total, to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Gold Coast, Australila. Alia Atkinson will represent the country in swimming, while Yona Knight Wisdom will be the country’s lone diving representative.
This will be Atkinson’s 4th-straight Commonwealth Games, having competed at every edition since 2006. It’s also a return to major global competition after she sat out last year’s World Championships (in spite of competing all season long).
Her only Commonwealth Games medals came at the 2014 event in Glasgow, Scotland where she took silver in the 50 breaststroke and bronze in the 100. She became just the 3rd Jamaican in history to medal at the Commonwealth Games. Janelle Atkinson (no relation) earned 2 bronze medals at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, and William McCarty earned a silver at the 1934 British Empire Games in the 200 yard breaststroke 3 decades before Jamaica earned independence from the UK.
Atkinson’s career resume includes 2 short course World Championships in the 100 breaststroke and 2 long course World Championship medals – silver in the 50 breaststroke and bronze in the 100.
After sitting out the 2017 World Championships, Atkinson still raced at all 8 stops of the 2017 FINA World Cup Series, where she finished 5th overall with 210 points. She won 13 events at the series, including sweeping the 50 and 100 breaststroke offerings, which jumps her in to 4th place in series history for event wins by a woman (6th place overall).
Jamaica’s Olympic committee allocated 7 spots to swimming at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, though Knight-Wisdom was the only diver in Glasgow as well. Atkinson was the only swimmer to make a final (she did so in all 3 breaststroke distances). Their next-best finish was an 11th-place from Zara Bailey in the women’s 400 IM, followed by a 12th-place finish from Timothy Wynter in the 200 breaststroke.
Among the swimmers left off the roster were Michael Gunning and Justin Plaschka, who were the country’s two representatives at the World Championships last year. Gunning was a high of 36th in the 200 fly and Plaschka was a high of 41st in the 50 fly.
Knight-Wisdom finished 5th in the men’s 1-meter and 11th in the men’s 3-meter in Glasgow in 2014.