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Larson, Atkinson Advance to 100 Breast Final

July 29, 2012
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
LONDON --- The women's 100-meter breaststroke final at the 2012 Olympic Games will feature a pair of Texas A&M swimmers when sophomore Breeja Larson and 2010 senior Alia Atkinson duel with the world's best in the race on Monday.

Larson enters Monday's final as the No. 4 seed, while Atkinson is the No. 8 seed. The pair are Texas A&M's second and third individual finalists ever at the Olympics and will be seeking the program's first-ever individual medal. The 100-meter breaststroke final is slated to start at 2:15 p.m. central and will be televised on tape-delay basis in the evening.

Joining Larson (USA) and Atkinson (Jamaica) in the final are Ruta Meilutyte (Lithuania, 1:05.21), Rebecca Soni (USA, 1:05.98), Iulii Efimova (Russia, 1:06.57), Leisel Jones (Australia, 1:06.81), Rikke Pederson (Denmark, 1:06.82) and Satomi Suzuki (Japan, 1:07.10)

Larson's road to the final began with the fourth fastest time in the preliminary rounds with 1:06.58 clocking. In the semis, the 2012 NCAA 100 breast champion finished second in her heat to Soni with a time of 1:06.70. Atkinson's road was more difficult. The 2010 NCAA 200 breast champion easily advanced through the prelims with a 1:07.39, but tied for the eighth and final qualifying spot with a time of 1:07.48 in the semis. Atkinson and Canada's Tera Van Beilen dueled in a swim-off, with Atkinson easily winning in a time of 1:06.79.

Also competing well on day two of the Olympic swimming competition was 2010 senior Julia Wilkinson of Canada. Wilkinson advanced through the prelims with a time of 59.94. She was faster in the semifinals with a time of 59.91 but was one spot away from advancing to the final.

Aggies in the London Olympic Games (Sunday, July 29, 2012)
100-meter Breaststroke
Breeja Larson (USA), 1:06.58 (4th, prelims)
Breeja Larson (USA), 1:06.70 (4th, semis)

Alia Atkinson (Jamaica), 1:07.39 (10th, prelims)
Alia Atkinson (Jamaica), 1:07.48 (t8th, semis)
Alia Atkinson (Jamaica), 1:06.79 (1st, swim-off)

100-meter Backstroke
Julia Wilkinson (Canada), 59.94 (7th, prelims)
Julia Wilkinson (Canada), 59.91 (9th, semis)

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