Ruta Meilutyte Might Not Be Done Yet

While most of the big names from the 100 breaststroke (Rebecca SoniYuliya Efimova) will move on to the 200 breaststroke, the champion will fork off and take a bit of a different path. Meilutyte’s other two Olympic entries are in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

This is a trend becoming more-and-more popular in the 100 breaststroke (think Jessica Hardy of the United States) as coaches are finding ways to more effectively use a sprinter’s fast-twitch muscles to produce great times in the shorter breaststroke races. Previously, the 100/200 breaststroke was the dominant combination, as breaststroke used to rely more heavily on just power from a kick and less on explosive movements. (See the video above of the 1984 Olympic breaststroke final, and notices the differences, especially in the swimmers’ arms).

Based on the drops she’s made in her breaststroke, her time in the spotlight may not be done, either. She comes into the meet with bests of 25.67/55.57 in the 50 and 100, respectively.

If we play a little comparative math, in this meet she dropped two seconds off of her best 100 breaststroke time. That would imply something in the 53-second range in her 100 free. She’ll be swimming from outside of the circle-seeded heats, so if she can get some clean water that puts her well within reach of jumping up early and qualifying for the semi-finals at least in the 100 free.

Meilutyte’s build isn’t quite as ideal for the sprint freestyles; she stands only about 5’8″ tall. That is a bit undersized for a freestyler but seems to be a good fit in the breaststroke field – most of the finalists ranged from 5’6″ to 5’10” tall.

Get ready for the young Lithuanian to wow again in the freestyles, though. She’s already become just the second finalist ever to swim under the Lithuanian flag this week, and she’ll be keen to make it a second.

Leave a Reply

3 Comments on "Ruta Meilutyte Might Not Be Done Yet"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

Who is in lane 2 (2nd from the top) of that race, she’s got a wicked butterfly kick at the end of her stroke?

Pretty sure that is Susan Rapp (don’t know her married name, sorry!) from the USA. Susan has a great record in making three Olympic teams and winning an Olympic silver medal in the 200 breast from the 1984 Olympics.

That video’s awesome, they all look they’re going so easy compared to the current crop of breaststrokers.


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »