Alia Atkinson Becomes First Black Swimmer to Win a World Title and Her Reaction is Priceless
The world can't get enough of 25-year-old swimmer Alia Atkinson's awestruck face—and for good reason. On Saturday, she became the first female black swimmer to win a world title after an exhilarating race at the world short course swimming championships in Doha, Qatar, reports CNN.com.
What made her win in the 100m breaststroke even better? She wasn't expected to come out on top. The favorite was actually rival swimmer 17-year-old Ruta Meilutyte, an Olympic gold medalist from Lithuania who holds the world record in the event and had beat Atkinson in the 50m breaststroke just two days prior.
Atkinson, who hails from Jamaica, not only made history, but she also matched Meilutyte's world-record time of 1:02.36. Atkinson outpaced her rival by just a tenth of a second. Watch the close finish and Atkinson's awesome reaction below.
Atkinson is no stranger to big swimming competitions. She's competed in three Olympic games, including the 2012 Summer Olympics in London alongside Meilutyte. There, she came in fourth to the Lithuanian swimmer in the 100m breaststroke. Not to mention as a senior at Texas A&M she won the 200m breaststroke in the NCAA championships, making her the second African-American female to nab an NCAA swimming title, according to her website.
Her home country must be extra proud considering her win marks Jamaica's first gold in a world swimming championship. Big congrats, Alia!