PHOENIX, Arizona, June 11. EARLIER today we in the Swimming World TV studio had picked our Performance of the Week recipient, then Ruta Meilutyte dove into the pool today in Barcelona. The Lithuanian teenager posted a European record time of 29.96 in the 50 breaststroke to become the first female to break the 30-second barrier in a textile suit, and she came very close to breaking Jessica Hardy's world record of 29.80.
Yes, we're aware that the 50 breaststroke is not an Olympic event, but when someone gets within 16-hundredths of a world record in any event in an in-season meet, it deserves recognition. Meilutyte is on track to be a major star at the world championships in about six weeks, provided she can produce the same times she's been putting up on the Mare Nostrum circuit, which included a European record in the 100 breaststroke on Saturday.
Congratulations, Ruta. You've earned the Speedo Performance of the Week.