Meilutyte’s Former Coach Jon Rudd Still Believes In His Protégé

2017 FINA WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

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:

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.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

18 Comments on "Meilutyte’s Former Coach Jon Rudd Still Believes In His Protégé"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Coach Mike 1952

Ruta is a fine swimmer & champion. Wish her all the best. Wish she could have earned the 100M bronze today too!

Tom from Chicago

She did earn a bronze. Corrupt politicians gave it to a PED drug cheat.

She should have that bronze medal 🙄

Agreed!

Today Ruta swam her third best time. Only two world records attempts long time ago in 2013 were better. Nice to have her back. This success in no way can be credited to her former coach. He likes to talk. He talks a lot. But each time it is Ruta who is solely responsible for four years of nothing. If he understands so much about “Ruta’s problems” then why not to help he professionally if he was in charge.
She sincerely congratulated Lilly King with beating her world record. I wish her prosperous life as processional swimmer. She is first class racer. Good luck.

Ruta has been faster than 1:05.6 quite a few times. And how can her success not be credited to Jon? She was with him for Olympic gold, WC gold and WR and SC WR! Not to mention she trained with him since she was a little girl. Jon has already said that her struggles in Rio were mental and not physical, so why the hate?

I heard him talking at coaches clinics in 2015 after WC disaster. He didn’t care at all about young girl and her “difficulties” as he put it. He just covered his failure to deal with exceptional talent. Everything was her fault. No responsibility as coach was taken. He protracted her as psychopath who is ready to dop and threatened to kick her off the team. All that was said publicly. What for? Just to protect himself. That is when my dislike of this person started. Well if he was so aware of the details and origins of ” problems” then he was in the position to help her to fix it before OG. Her performance was even worse at Games.… Read more »

There’s no point in me trying to elaborate if you are going to make false accusations of Jon making Ruta out to be a doper and a psychopath. All I can say is: Ruta would not have gotten all those accolades without him but the timing was right for a coaching change. Why don’t you say the same about Seebohm and Brown? Or Larkin?

Well, he was promoted with this new position in Ireland. So professional people who for sure know this business better than me see something in him. You were interested in reasoning of my opinion – then I told you what kind of impression this person made on me. It can be very subjective because of limited amount of information I have. Or I may noticed something essential in the character of this person. I cannot tell how much of Meilutyte’s success can be attributed to the work of this coach. We cannot play “what if” games with our past. He got lucky to have 12 yo prodigy. Maybe he did basic training that any other coach can do. Maybe he… Read more »

*portrayed her

Worth noting: Rita would be a mediocre freestyler if it wasn’t for John.

I agree – Jon sucks. Likes to piggyback on success. Ruta – total badass. Still a great champion.

MrBriefStroke

Ruta is forever a champion and a brilliant swimmer. What a competitor, and she should have that bronze.

wpDiscuz

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

Loretta grew up outside Toledo, OH, where she swam age group and high school. Graduating from Xavier University, she stayed in the Cincinnati, OH area and currently resides just outside the city in Northern KY.  Loretta got back into the sport of swimming via Masters and now competes and is …

Read More »