WATCH: Ruta Meilutyte Shatters SCM 50 BR European Record with 28.60, .04 off WR


Women’s 50 Breast – Final


  1. Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) – 28.60 ER
  2. Sophie Hansson (SWE) – 29.84
  3. Anastasia Gorbenko (ISR) – 30.03

It was all Ruta Meilutyte in the women’s 50 breaststroke at the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup. The 25-year-old Lithuanian shattered the European record by .21 seconds, roaring to a 28.60. She was just off Alia Atkinson‘s world record, which stands at 28.56 from 2018.

She was the fastest off the blocks with a .58 reaction time and never surrendered her lead, turning at the 25-meter mark in 13.03 seconds and coming home in 15.57.

Meilutyte was a co-owner of the former European record. She set the mark at 28.81 at the 2014 SCM World Championships. In November 2020, Benedetta Pilato tied the time during the ISL season.

For the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, this is another step on her comeback to the sport. After bursting onto the international scene in London, she suffered many career setbacks. She broke her elbow less than a year out from the Rio Olympics. She still competed, and during that time she began battling with depression. In 2018, she spoke about her experience with mental health, saying that after the Rio Olympics, her depression was so severe that she almost quite swimming.

After SCM Worlds in 2018, she did take a step back from the sport. In 2019, at 22-years-old, she announced her retirement. Then in 2020, she was handed a two-year suspension by FINA, back dated to July 2019 for missing three anti-doping control tests in a 12-month span. Since she had retired, no one expected her to race again. However, she made a surprising return to competition ten months ago at the Lithuanian Short Course Championships.

She’s been on a tear since returning to the sport. At the World Championships, nine years after she first medaled at a long course Worlds, she earned gold in the 50 breaststroke and bronze in the 100. It was her first time winning the 50 breast World title as she finished second in 2013.

At the European Championships in Rome, she again won gold in the 50 breast and bronze in the 100. In the 50 breast semi-finals, she clocked 29.44, resetting her own national record and scorching the fourth-fastest time in history.

Now, she’s back in short course meters, and has kept her momentum from her successful summer rolling. This was her last race in Berlin, but she’s slated to race in Toronto next week at the second leg of the 2022 FINA World Cup, so she’ll get another crack at the world record.

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1 year ago

I’m so glad to see her return to competition is going this well.

1 year ago

I will always be impressed about how good her start is. Congrats on her successful comeback

1 year ago

The glide cost her the WR.

Tommy Schmitt
1 year ago

Ruta’s reaction time off the blocks has always been and will always be in a league of its own.

Suzy Q
1 year ago

that’s mother fr fr

1 year ago

Really seems like she will break her own world record in the 100 breast sooner than many would think. Still has one of the fastest reaction times ever in the sport.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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