Youth Olympic Games: Ruta Meilutyte Cruises Through 50 Breast Prelims

Photo by Joao Marc Bosch

NANJING, China, August 16. LITHUANIA’s Ruta Meilutyte got going early with an easy-speed swim in the 50-meter breaststroke, while a handful of other national records fell throughout the morning in Nanjing.

Scheduled Events

  • Men’s 400 free
  • Women’s 50 breast
  • Men’s 100 back
  • Women’s 100 back
  • Men’s 100 Breast
  • Women’s 200 IM
  • Mixed 400 free relay



Men’s 400 free

Akram Ahmed led this morning’s prelims with an Egyptian record of 3:52.02.  That time beat the previous record of 3:52.47 set by Marwan El Kamash at the 2013 Egyptian Championships in Cairo last November.  Akram, who will join the University of South Carolina this fall, already owns the Egyptian record in the 1500 free with a 15:10.99, and this is his second freestyle national mark.

Top-Seed Splits:

26.94 (2)
56.09 (2)
1:25.10 (1)
1:54.31 (1)
2:23.42 (1)
2:52.97 (1)
3:22.55 (1)
3:52.02 (1)

Poland’s Wojciech Wojdak will provide Ahmed his toughest competition with a second-placed time of 3:52.80, while El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta snared third overall in 3:53.14.

Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk (3:53.31), Israel’s Ido Haber (3:53.45), Norway’s Henrik Christiansen (3:53.58), Brazil’s Luiz Altamir Lopes Melo (3:53.79) and Spain’s Guillermo Sanchez Gutierrez (3:55.32) also made the finale.

Notably, USA’s Patrick Ransford finished 12th overall in 3:56.31.  That’s a big time drop for the American, as he blasted his previous lifetime best of 3:58.59 from last week’s Senior Nationals.

Women’s 50 breast

Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, the most famous swimmer who is attending the meet as a reigning world-record holder in the 50 and 100-meter breaststroke, did what she had to do to advance through to the semifinal heats of the sprint breaststroke.  She cruised into third this morning with a 32.11, but expect her to start turning up the heat this evening in the semifinal heats.  Meilutyte has already ripped off a world-leading 29.90 this year at the Sette Colli Trophy meet, and this is her taper meet this summer.

Hungary went 1-2 in prelims as Anna Sztankovics (32.02) and Dalma Sebestyen (32.09) both finished ahead of Meilutyte.  There’s a potential change the two could push each other to a Hungarian record through the rest of the swims with Sztankovics  currently holding that mark with a 31.30.

Great Britain’s Georgina Evans (32.17), Germany’s Julia Willers (32.19), Poland’s Dominika Sztandera (32.19), Korea’s Yang Jiwon (32.31), Finland’s Silja Kansakoski (32.38) and Sweden’s Sophie Hansson (32.38) made up the rest of the top half of the semifinal draw.

China’s He Yun (32.40), Australia’s Ella Bond (32.45), Switzerland’s Lisa Mamie (32.51), Ukraine’s Anastasiya Malyavina (32.55), Sweden’s Jessica Billquist (32.55), Estonia’s Karleen Kersa (32.66) and Singapore’s Samantha Yeo (32.69) also earned their way into the semis.

Men’s 100 Back

China picked up its first top-seed of the meet as Li Guangyuang powered his way to a 55.33.  He’s just ahead of Romania’s Robert Glinta, who finished second in 55.46.  Italy’s Simone Sabbioni rounded out the top three seeds in the event with a time of 55.47.

Top-Seed Splits:

26.91 (2)
55.33 (1)

Russia’s Evgeny Rylov (55.78), Great Britain’s Luke Greenbank (55.94) and Greece’s Apostolos Christou (55.99) all cleared 56 seconds in prelims. Christou is the World Junior Record holder with a 54.03 from the European Junior Championships.

South Africa’s Christopher Reid (56.25) and USA’s Patrick Mulcare (56.28) also made the top eight.

Germany’s Marek Ulrich (56.30), Australia’s Nic Groenewald (56.35), The Netherlands’ Lauren Bams (56.47), USA’s Patrick Conaton (56.59), Brazil’s Vitor Nascimento (56.73), Canada’s Javier Acevedo (56.77), Russia’s Filipp Shopin (56.94) and Sweden’s Petter Fredriksson (56.96) comprised the rest of the semifinal seeds, each having to beat 57 seconds.

Women’s 100 back

The first American top-seeded swim went to Clara Smiddy of the AquaKids. Swimming nearly by herself in the final heat, she cruised to a 1:01.73.  There’s little reason to doubt that she will challenge her lifetime best of 1:00.51 from last summer’s juniors after seeing how easy she swum her prelim performance.

Top-Seed Splits:

29.93 (2)
1:01.73 (1)

Brazil’s Natalia de Luccas raced her way to second in qualifying with a time of 1:02.05, while Canada’s Danielle Hanus backhalfed her way to a 1:02.19 for third.

Russia’s Irina Prikhodko (1:02.25), The Netherlands’ Maaike de Waard (1:02.33), Italy’s Ambra Esposito (1:02.37), New Zealand’s Bobbi Gichard (1:02.39) and New Zealand’s Gabrielle Fa’Amausili (1:02.41) also made the top eight seeds.

Great Britain’s Jessica Fullalove (1:02.58), Spain’s Laura Yus Fernandez (1:03.01), Canada’s Mackenzie Glover (1:03.03), Ukraine’s Iryna Glavnyk (1:03.10), Australia’s Amy Forrester (1:03.18), Slovakia’s Karolina Hajkova (1:03.29), Czech’s Tereza Grusova (1:03.41) and Germany’s Mandy Feldbinder (1:03.43) earned the other transfer spots into the semifinal heats.

Notably, Courtney Mykkanen of the U.S. took 27th in 1:05.80.

Men’s 100 breast

Venezuela’s Carlos Claverie, a future Louisville Cardinal, snared the top seed of the event this morning with a time of 1:01.62.  Depending on how much more time Claverie can drop, he might have a chance to enter the world’s top 20 currently anchored by Ryo Tateishi’s 1:00.51 from Japanese Nationals.  That’s a national record for Claverie, bettering the 1:01.87 set by Miguel Ferreira at the 2012 Venezuela Open in Maracaibo.

Top-Seed Splits:

28.57 (1)
1:01.62 (1)

Russia’s Anton Chupkov raced his way to second in 1:02.07 with Japan’s Ippei Watanabe winning the final heat to take third in 1:02.26. Croatia’s Nikola Obrovac (1:02.49) and South Africa’s Chad Crous (1:02.53) placed fourth and fifth in qualifying.

Brazil’s Andreas de Queiroz Mickosz finished sixth in 1:02.74, while Dustin Tynes lowered the 100 breast national record for the Bahamas the second time this summer after clocking a 1:03.39 at the Commonwealth Games.  This morning, he broke the 1:03 barrier with a seventh-seeded 1:02.97.

Belarus’ Stanislau Pazdzeyeu (1:02.99), Hungary’s David Horvath (1:03.27), Australia’s Grayson Bell (1:03.32), Belarus’ Yauhen Kavaliou (1:03.42), Lithuania’s Paulius Grigaliunas (1:03.50), France’s Jean Dencausse (1:03.57), Romania’s Andrei Roman (1:03.61), Korea’s Kim Jaeyoun (1:03.62) and Germany’s Maximilian Pilger (1:03.70) also will swim in the semifinal heats.

Women’s 200 IM

Meghan Small of York YMCA produced the second top-seed swim for the Americans with a 2:15.24 to race her way to the championship finale.  She has a ton more in the tank as she just popped a lifetime best 2:11.83 at senior nationals last week, and should put up a significant time in finals.

Top-Seed Splits:

28.68 (1)
1:03.39 (1)
1:43.21 (1)
2:15.24 (1)

South Africa’s Marlies Ross hit the wall second in 2:15.45, while Germany’s Kathrin Demler (2:15.50), Spain’s Africa Zamorano Sanz (2:15.60) and Hungary’s Dalma Sebestyen (2:15.99) also broke 2:16 this morning.

Vietnam’s Vien Nguyen (2:16.02), Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey (2:16.53) and Canada’s Kelsey Wog (2:17.55) comprised the rest of the championship finale field.

Hannah Moore of the U.S. just missed the top eight with a ninth-place time of 2:18.02.  Additionally, Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte scratched the event to focus on the 50-meter breast this evening.

Mixed 400 free relay

China will challenge the World Junior Record of 3:28.74 set by the Australians at the World Junior Championships last summer tonight after making their mark with a stunning 3:29.36 this morning. Yu Hexin had a particularly strong split for China with a 48.96 third-leg as the Chinese dominated this morning.

Top-Seed Splits:

CHN ­ People’s Republic of China 3:29.36
LI Zhuhao (M) 0.71 24.88 52.29 52.29
QIU Yuhan (W) 0.05 25.81 53.71 1:46.00
YU Hexin (M) 0.20 23.25 48.96 2:34.96
ZHANG Yufei (W) 0.27 26.09 54.40 3:29.36

Brazil’s Matheus de Santana (49.55), Luiz Altamir Lopes Melo (50.66), Natalia de Luccas (57.07) and Giovanna Tomanik Diamante (55.86) took second in 3:33.14.  The Netherlands’ Kyle Stolk (50.30), Kim Busch (57.70), Robin Neumann (56.01) and Laurent Bams (50.42) wound up third in 3:34.43.

Russia (3:35.40), Great Britain (3:35.41), Australia (3:36.51), Germany (3:37.18) and Spain (3:38.13) also made the championship finale tonight.

Team USA’s Patrick Conaton (52.05), Clara Smiddy (56.59), Meghan Small (59.47) and Patrick Mulcare (51.38) claimed 11th overall in 3:39.49 and will be a spectator this evening.


Twitter Coverage

For up to the minute coverage, follow us on Twitter @SwimmingWorld:



  1. avatar

    Just for the record, Anna Sztankovics broke Agnes Kovacs´national 50 M record last year in Dubai at the Youth World Swimming Championships with a 31:30 – for verification, check out the Hungarian Swimming Federations homepage under:ák.

  2. avatar

    Record is only made for break.

Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

Current Swimming World Issue

Trouble Viewing on Smart Phones, Tablets or iPads? Click Here