We still have not seen a World Record go down yet in 2013, but Lithuanian 16-year old Ruta Meilutyte has come about as close as one can get without actually taking the record down.
The Olympic Champion, Meilutyte went a 1:04.52 in prelims on Monday morning to break both the World Championship Record as well as her own Meet Record.
The former European (and Lithuanian) Records belonged to her at 1:05.20, while the World Championships Record was Rebecca Soni’s from the destructive 2009 World Championship meet, belonging to Rebecca Soni in 1:04.84.
Meilutyte is still just shy of the World Record, which was set in August of 2009 at the U.S. Open. That mark is a 1:04.45 belonging to Jessica Hardy (she likely would have broken the Meet Record, but was ineligible to swim at Worlds as she had still not returned from a year-long doping suspension to qualify for the World Championship team).
Hardy, meanwhile, will be center stage if the record does go down in Tuesday evening’s semi-finals; she was 2nd in prelims in 1:05.18, and Russia’s Yuliya Efimova was 3rd.
Keep in mind that last year, at the Olympics, Meilutyte was also very fast in prelims, got a little better in the semi-finals, and then dropped off in the finals. With a field that looks to be much deeper this year, she may not be able to afford that same pattern in 2013.