World Championships: Lilly King Racing at 80%; Ray Looze: ‘What She Did (In 100 Breaststroke) Was Actually Pretty Darn Good’

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Lilly King -- Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

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World Championships: Lilly King Racing at 80%; Ray Looze: ‘What She Did Tonight Was Actually Pretty Darn Good’

A tight battle in the women’s 100 breaststroke final at the World Championships saw Italy’s Benedetta Pilato emerge victorious by just five hundredths over Germany’s Anna Elendt, with Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte claiming bronze. Swimming in lane eight, two-time defending world champion and world-record holder Lilly King finished fourth in 1:06.07, just five hundredths off the podium but seven tenths shy of her season-best performance.

King entered the meet as a strong favorite in the 100 breast, especially considering Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby and silver medalist Tatjana Schoenmaker, so a fourth-place finish might be considered subpar, but according to Ray Looze, King’s coach at Indiana University, her performance was very impressive under the circumstances.

“I would say you’re watching 80% of what Lilly is capable of, and that’s all she’s got,” Looze told Swimming World. “What she did tonight was actually pretty darn good all things considered. A lot of people chose not to come to this meet where that’s just not in her DNA. She doesn’t want to make excuses. She’ll never do that. I assure you, this is 80% of Lilly King. That’s all she’s got, and there’s nothing anybody can do right now to change that.”

King typically has the quickest start and first 25 meters in any breaststroke race, but the early speed has been lacking so far in Budapest. She was sixth at the halfway point in the 100 breast final before recording a strong 30.26 split on the second length, the third-quickest in the field, to push her way into medal contention. King is scheduled to be off from racing Tuesday, but she is entered in the 200 breaststroke (as the top seed) and 50 breaststroke later in the meet, and she is scheduled to be part of the U.S. women’s 400 medley relay.

“I’m super proud of what she did,” Looze added. “She’s never been in lane eight, and she had a shot to win under the worst of circumstances for her.”

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Nathan
4 days ago

Lilly King does not make excuses. However, her coach is perfectly fine making excuses for her.

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Michael Gorvitz
4 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

But why is she at 80% at the world championship? This should be explained, shouldn’t it?

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Swimmom
3 days ago

She had Covid – still feeling it.

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bill p
3 days ago

I was asking myself the same question. talk about burying the lead!

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Cate
3 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

Not an excuse. She is recovering from COVID. You’re welcome,

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MastersSwimmer
4 days ago

Lilly is no prima donna. Too many swimmers opting out this year- they’re ‘not fit’; they’re ‘not targeting this championship’; they’re ‘not targeting this event’; they’re only doing the relays; they’re saving themselves for Paris…. for xxxx’s sake…. so many prima donnas when I thought swimmers were supposed to be tough.

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Personal Best
4 days ago
Reply to  MastersSwimmer

Swimmers (or their coaches) are at least supposed to be smart. Not just about being tough. Some swimmers make smart choices. Others are ‘tough’.

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MastersSwimmer
3 days ago
Reply to  Personal Best

I’m all for smart decisions and that’s what we usually see but not this time. These are the World Championships and there are so many swimmers with so many flimsy excuses for not participating…..

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Ron Neugent
3 days ago

30.26 on the second length? I’d like to see that. She would have negative split it by about 6 seconds.

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