Olympian Alia Atkinson of Jamaica will return to competitive action after joining the London Roar for the 2020 season of the International Swimming League (ISL) which is set to begin on October 16, 2020.
The 31-year-old Atkinson was among 17 new additions to 2019 finalists, who will be seeking to go one better this year. Atkinson who participated in the ISL’s debut campaign last year with a Hungarian-based team Team Iron, will instead be taking her talents to the London Roar, who went to the finals last year in Las Vegas but finished second behind inaugural winners Energy Standard of France.
Swimming for Team Iron that finished fifth in the team standings last season, the team called upon Atkinson to swim strokes, which did not allow her to be at her best for the club. However, she did perform well in her preferred breaststroke events winning the 50m breaststroke in Lewisville and the 50m and 100m breaststroke events in Budapest and London.
Atkinson is hopeful that this season London Roar will position her to compete in the discipline where she is strongest. She was quick to point out that there is no ill will towards Team Iron, for whom she debuted in the ISL.
The London Roar reached the Las Vegas final last season and finished second behind Energy Standard. It returns a lot of key players in season two, including team captain Adam Peaty and big point scorers Cate Campbell and Emma McKeon. The club is composed primarily of the best British and Australian swimmers, including some of the best swimmers based in the two countries, such as Andreas Vazaios and Anna Hopkin.
The Roar lost key pieces in Canadians Yuri Kisil and Finlay Knox to the Toronto Titans as well as Mireia Belmonte, who has jumped ship to Team Iron.
This year, five meets will take place in October and November before the semi-finals, which are scheduled for November 19-22. The Organisers are currently in discussions to have the final this year in Tokyo.