Lilly King Breaks American Record In 50 Breast Semis


Since Americans rarely swim short course metres, it seems every time they hit the water they break barriers left and right. That was the case again tonight, as 2016 Olympic and NCAA champion Lilly King became the 5th fastest performer all-time in the women’s 50 breast, and broke the official American record previously set at 29.37 by Katie Meili

King posted a time of 29.17, finishing second in her semi-final behind world record holder Alia Atkinson of Jamaica who went 29.09. Her American teammate Molly Hannis was the only other woman under 30 seconds tonight in 29.88, so it shapes up to be a battle between King and Atkinson for gold.

Jessica Hardy actually is the fastest American performer in history at 28.80, but it was done in 2009, and is not recognized as the American Record by USA Swimming. This is presumably due to the suits, as USA Swimming’s ban on suits came into effect in the fall of 2009, whereas FINA’s did at the beginning of 2010.

Nonetheless, King is also now the 5th fastest performer ever, behind Atkinson, Hardy, Ruta Meilutyte and her Olympic rival Yuliya Efimova. Here’s a look at the top five performers:

  1. Alia Atkinson, 28.64
  2. Jessica Hardy, 28.80
  3. Ruta Meilutyte, 28.81
  4. Yuliya Efimova, 29.08
  5. Lilly King, 29.17

King will also swim the 100 IM, 100 breast, and 200 breast here in Windsor.


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swimmers ear
3 years ago

How can 29.17 be an American record if J.Hardy went 28.8 previously?
Love to see US on top of podium but recently A.Atkinson has been very
tough in the 50 breast in recent months.

Reply to  swimmers ear
3 years ago

Hardy used the suit after the ban was in effect, so it never became registered as the official American record.

Tom from Chicago
Reply to  monsterbasher
3 years ago

She also used Clenbuterol, so I am more than happy not seeing Hardy’s name anywhere.

bobo gigi
3 years ago

Atkinson will be tough to beat in final but King shows she’s ready for big things this week.
I smell a world record for Lilly in the 100 breast.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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