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BARCELONA, Spain, August 3. THE world thought Yuliya Efimova had a pretty special swim with her world record in the women’s 50-meter breaststroke this morning at the FINA World Championships.
Well, Lithuanian Olympic gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte took the global mark into another stratosphere this evening in the semifinal heats of the sprint breaststroke. Efimova raced to a sizzling time of 29.78 this morning to break Jessica Hardy’s world record of 29.80 from 2009.
Tonight, Meilutyte unfurled a ridiculously fast time of 29.48. That’s a full .30 drop of a 50-meter world record, as the women’s breaststroke has seen a complete revision of its world records this week with the 50, 100 and 200 all falling. That’s a second world-record check for the British-based Lithuanian youngster who already cashed $25,000 for her 100-meter breaststroke mark.
Meanwhile, 200-meter breaststroke victor Yuliya Efimova turned in a swift time of 29.88 to claim the second seed heading into the finale tomorrow night. With those two 29s from Meilutyte and Efimova, they joined Hardy as the only swimmers to post 29-second performances on multiple occasions.
Hardy, however, is the most consistent as she hit 29 yet again with a 29.90 to lead semifinal two and qualify third heading into the championship. Hardy is looking to be the first three time winner of the event having claimed the title in 2007 and 2011 as well.
USA’s Breeja Larson (30.20), Czech’s Petra Chocova (30.31), Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen (30.57), The Netherlands’ Moniek Nijhuis (30.61) and Sweden’s Jennie Johansson (30.66) also made the finale.