2017 FINA WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Sunday, July 23rd – Sunday, July 30th
- Budapest, Hungary
- LCM (50m)
- Full Competition Schedule
- Meet Info
- Psych Sheets
- Omega Results
- Pick ’em Contest
- Event-by-Event Previews
2012 Olympic breaststroke gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania fell just .61 shy of earning a medal tonight in Budapest, as she clocked a time of 1:05.65 to finish 4th in the 100m breaststroke. After placing 3rd after both prelims and semifinals, Meilutyte saw Russian Yuliya Efimova and American Katie Meili race by her behind gold medalist and newly-minted world record holder Lilly King for their respective bronze and silver medals in the final, leaving her off the podium.
Meilutyte suffered a broken elbow in September 2015 and steadily tried to regain form since. After Rio, Meilutyte took a lengthy post-Rio break, traveling to South America, Europe and Lithuania, before returning to competition this past January.
Meilutyte recently parted with now-Ireland National Performance Director Jon Rudd, the man who coached her since she was 12 years old. 19-year-old Meilutyte returned home Lithuania to train under the guidance of coach Paulis Andrijauskas a former Olympic butterfly swimmer and vice president of the Lithuanian Swimming Federation. At the time, Meilutyte said she said it was ‘simply time for a change.’
Regardless of where Meilutyte is training, Rudd still considers the teen ‘as his daughter’ and wished her the best on social media after her performance tonight:
When you couldn't be more proud of @MeilutyteRuta x
— Jon Rudd (@coachjonrudd) July 25, 2017
In an interview with TV3 recently, Rudd described his protégé’s circumstances in Rio, where Meilutyte finished 7th in a (by her standards) pedestrian time of 1:07.32. “It was a very difficult situation. Ruta was injured and couldn’t train in the pool for 6 months. Although her training sessions showed good results, Ruta didn’t believe that everything was fine.”
He says in Rio his swimmer’s ‘physical fitness was there, but she lacked a better psychological state of mind. Ruta didn’t believe in herself.’
Even though the pair no longer work together as coach and swimmer, Rudd says that he believes it’s possible for Meilutyte to eventually take back the 100 breaststroke world record. He says, “I do not believe that we’ve seen her best swimming yet.”
Meilutyte will compete in the women’s 50m breaststroke on day 7 of these World Championships in Budapest.