Alia makes today's final

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She Kept herself hydrated but was hopping to and from the restroom, as she waited for yesterday's evening session. It was probably the longest one hour and 40 minutes of her life, but it proved to be worthwhile in the end, as Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson kept her medal hopes alive and is the first Jamaican in a final at the Olympic Games in London.

The three-time Jamaican Olympian and Canadian Tera Van Beilen stood alone in Aquatics Centre where only one could leave the pool with a place among the top-eight 100m breaststroke finalists in the Olympics.

This swim-off became necessary after they both tied for fourth place and the final qualifying spot in their semi-finals earlier yesterday evening. Alia is the Jamaican to win a swimming heat at an Olympic Games ( Sion Brinn won his 50m and 100m freestyle heats at the Atlanta 1996 games).

Atkinson, is determined to become the first Jamaican to medal at an Olympic Games, and she was not about to let that dream be taken away by a 19-year-old Canadian. She got a strong start and powered through after the 50m to win and secure her spot in the finals, which is set for 2:15pm (Jamaican Time, 8:15pm British Time)

"My main goal coming here is to make the final, and I just told myself that she (Van Beilen) was not going to stop me," Atkinson asserted shortly after her race.

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