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Tired Atkinson Misses Out Again
Elton Tucker, Assistant Editor - Sports
Jamaica's Alia Atkinson blamed fatigue after another fourth-place finish in the pool at the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, last night.
Atkinson led for much of the way in the women's 200 metres breaststroke final at the Scotiabank Aquatic Centre but faded in the last 20 metres after being strongly in contention for a bronze medal.
She was second after 50 metres, then led at the 100 metres mark and fell again to second at 150 metres. Her last 50 metres was done in 40.29 seconds, the slowest of the top six swimmers. Her final time was 2:30.96, well off the 2:29.00 national record she set earlier this year.
Atkinson was clearly not as disappointed as after her fourth-place finish in the 100 metres breaststroke on Monday night.
Below her expectations
"I think I probably had too much on my plate, I could feel myself getting tired after each race," said Atkinson, who competed here in the 100m and 200m breaststroke, 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley. She swam eight races here, setting five national records.
She emerged from the Games with a silver medal from four events, but the Florida-based Jamaican admitted that she fell below her expectations.
"I felt I could have done better. Except for the 200 metres individual medley, the other races were not that good."
She now has her sights set on the 2012 London Olympic Games which comes up in nine months.
"I am going back into training, I know where I am right now so I know the things I have to work on and focus on," she said.
The gold medal in the 200 metres breaststroke was won by Canada's Ashley McGregor, the swimmer who broke Atkinson's heart in the 100 metres breaststroke final on Monday night. McGregor won in 2:28.04 ahead of Americans Haley Jo Spencer, 2:29.30, and Michelle McKeehan, 2:30.51.
Earlier, Atkinson had won her heat in 2:32.33 to enter the final with the fourth-fastest time.