Swimming, Day 3 - Women's 100m breast: Meilutyte wins world title for Lithuania

BCN2013 - Swimming

Ruta Meilutyte (LTU)Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte claimed an historic first world long-course swimming title for Lithuania since it gained independence after the break-up of the former Soviet Union. The 16-year-old England-based swimmer was a clear winner, though she finished a shade outside the world record 1:04.35 she clocked in the semi-finals. Meilutyte led all the way and swept to the gold in 1:04.42, a time still inside the 1:04.45 world mark which had stood to Jessica Hardy (USA) since August 2009.

Yuliya Efimova (RUS), world silver medallist in 2009 and second-fastest behind Meilutyte in the semi-finals, was the only swimmer to finish within a second of the Lithuanian, taking the silver in 1:05.02. Hardy, world silver medallist in 2005, scooped the bronze in 1:05.52. Rebecca Soni (USA), twice Olympic 200m breaststroke champion, won the 100m breaststroke world crown in 2009 and 2011 and the 200m in 2011 but is not defending her titles in Barcelona.

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World Record: Ruta Meilutyte (LTU), 1:04.35 – July 29, 2013 in Barcelona (ESP)
Championships Record: Ruta Meilutyte (LTU), 1:04.35 – July 29, 2013 in Barcelona (ESP)
Best performance of the current season (since January 2013): Ruta Meilutyte (LTU), 1:04.35 – July 29, in Barcelona (ESP)
2003-2011 winners in this event: 2003 – Xuejuan Luo (CHN, 1:06.80); 2005 – Leisel Jones (AUS, 1:06.25); 2007 – Leisel Jones (AUS, 1:05.72); 2009 – Rebecca Soni (USA, 1:04.93); 2011 – Rebecca Soni (USA, 1:05.05)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Xuejuan Luo (CHN, 2001 & 2003), Leisel Jones (AUS, 2005 & 2007) and Rebecca Soni (USA, 2009 & 2011)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. Ruta Meilutyte (LTU, 1:05.47), 2. Rebecca Soni (USA, 1:05.55), 3. Satomi Suzuki (JPN, 1:06.46)


QUOTES:

Gold medal winner: Ruta Meilutyte (LTU)

On Katie Ledecky, being her same age: "I think it's great that younger people are being able to stepping up. Looking at all amazing swimmers that have achieved medals in the past, that inspires us to achieve dreams and I think it's the same with Katie Ledecky."

"I was thinking about improving the time from yesterday's World Record but I rushed my stroke a little bit. I'm really happy with the time, it's nearly the same than I did in the semis."

On popularity of swimming in Lithuania: "The recognition for swimming in the country is bigger, they just built a pool in my hometown, we get better facilities to train. It's a dream come true."

Silver medal winner: Yulia Efimova (RUS)

"My result is better than yesterday and I am very glad about it. I thought until the last moment that I could win the race but Ruta [Meilutyte] is younger and she was faster today. All I need is to work harder and just enjoy it."

Bronze medal winner: Jessica Hardy (USA)

"I almost quit that event in the last couple of years, I was not swimming it seriously since 2009. So it's really fun to swim that fast and to race such a fast field."

"Swimming happy is the best way to swim. Swimming fast and effortlessly is the best thing I can do."