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BARCELONA, Spain, July 29. BRITISH-based Lithuanian Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte continues to rock the world with some amazing breaststroke efforts, and tonight was no different in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke as she ripped off a world record, as well as a textile best in the 50, at the FINA World Championships.
The teenage breaststroke phenom, who had a breakout summer last year in London en route to a surprising 100-meter breaststroke crown, went out strong tonight with a textile best 29.97 at the 50. That swim is the first sub-30 in textile, undercutting Jessica Hardy’s previous textile best of 30.03 from the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships. Incidentally, Meilutyte’s 50 is also now the meet record at Worlds.
The champion then brought the swim home in 34.38 to complete a 1:04.35 time for the world record. That swim clipped Hardy’s previous global standard of 1:04.45.
29.97, 1:04.35 (34.38)
29.80, 1:04.45 (34.65)
The only world record left for Meilutyte to take down now is that 29.80 from Hardy which stands as the world record in the 50-meter breast on her split, and she will get her chance to get after it during finals.
Russia’s Yuliya Efimova raced to second in 1:05.29, just missing her Russian record of 1:05.24 from yesterday, while Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen qualified second in 1:05.99 to round out the sub-1:06 performances in semis.
USA’s Hardy (1:06.10) and Breeja Larson (1:06.61) will be looking for an upset in finals if they can overtake the sizzling Lithuanian, while Ukraine’s Viktoriya Solnceva (1:06.67), Sweden’s Jennie Johansson (1:06.96) and Spain’s Marina Garcia Urzainqui (1:07.12) earned the other transfer spots into the championship finale.