Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte, trained under Jon Rudd at the Plymouth Leander Swim Club in the U.K., has broken the first World Record of 2013 with a 1:04.35. That broke the old World Record of 1:04.45 that American Jessica Hardy set at the 2009 U.S. Open.
Meilutyte then joins, or depending on your continental preferences takes, American Katie Ledecky as the world’s premier 16-year old with this swim, and she’s still got one round to go.
Swimming out of the second semi-final, even after watching a very slow first heat in front of her, Meilutyte was out in under 30 seconds (something only Hardy does) and brought things home to the record. Meilutyte’s opening 50 was only the 4th 50 breaststroke under 30 seconds ever, and she did it on a split (she has two, and Hardy has two).
She got off of the blocks very fast, and had about a two-foot lead by the time the competitors surfaced. This is a sharp reminder of the fact that she once thought she would be a world-class sprint freestyler, where that sort of a start is a necessity.
The crowd at the Palau Sant Jordi for the 2013 World Championships recognized Meilutyte’s swim with a thunderous and rolling applause that lasted for minutes after the record-breaking performance.
With that pressure off, next it will be a challenge for gold for her, as Russian Yulia Efimova was challenging her for much of this race and wound up with a 1:05.29.
|Old WR||Olympic Gold||New WR|