Alia Atkinson: First Black Woman To Win Swimming World Title

Life

Share this Post

Alia Atkinson has become the first black woman to win a swimming world title.

On Saturday, December 6, Alia was successful in winning the 100m breaststroke at the FINA World Swimming Championships, earning her the prestigious title.

During the final leg of the race at Hamad Aquatic Centre in Doha, Alia was able to take the title from the defending champion Ruta Meilutyte, landing her spot in first place by 0.1 seconds.

Atkinson didn't immediately realize she had won, and it took a second for the enormity of her win to sink in.

“I couldn’t believe it! It came down to the same thing as the 50 and on the 50 I got out-touched so in my mind I went straight back to that," the 25-year-old athlete recalled. "I just thought ‘oh okay’ and looked up at the board and it didn’t really click yet and then it really started to click. It took a while!”

Atkinson later took to her personal Instagram page to share her exciting achievement. “This is more than about me," she wrote alongside a picture of her holding her medal. "A country… a nation, a race. First Jamaican swimmer, First female swimmer from the Caribbean, and I believe first black female swimmer in over 40 yrs. This is not just mine.”