Ruta Meilutyte Equals WR 29.30 In 50m Breaststroke Semi Final … 10 Years On – Video
Ruta Meilutyte, the Lithuanian who reclaimed the World 100m breaststroke title in Fukuoka this week 10 years after she first lifted the crown in Barcelona, today equalled the World record of 29.30 in the semi-final of the 50m breaststroke. It’s also 10 years since she established the 50m global standard for the first time.
Racing in lane 2 at the Marine Messe and 20th World Championships since it all began in 1973, Meilutyte, the defending champion in the dash after victory last year in Budapest, took a US$30,000 ticket to lane 4 for the final, the prize given to all who break world records at the championships.
The record had been solely owned by the swimmer in lane 4 in the semi, Benedetta Pilato of Italy. The championship record had been held at 29.40 by American Lilly King since she took the title in 2017. King qualified second fastest for the final tomorrow on the last day of the championships, Pilato fourth fastest.
This was the 12th European and 5th World record of Meilutyte’s career and the second time she had held the global long-course 50m standard, 10 years after she stopped the clock at a then-pioneering
This was the 12th European and 5th World record of Meilutyte’s career and the second time she had held the global long-course 50m standard, 10 years after she stopped the clock at a then-pioneering 29.48 at Barcelona 2013 World titles.
Ruta Meilutyte =WR 29.30
The Result in full
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Barcelona 2013 – Ruta Unleashes Riot Of Raw Speed: 29.48 WR
Take in the time: 29.48. The shiny suit era took an axe to the clock in dash events. In women’s breaststroke the 50m mark was 0.49sec faster when the ban on buoyancy bodysuits came in on January 1, 2010, than it had been before poly put the kettle on. It had taken almost a decade to get that margin of gain in the event before 2008.
So when in heats this morning Yuliya Efimova (RUS) shaved 0.02sec off the 29.80 world record held by Trojan teammate Jessica Hardy (USA), it seemed as though progress might return to being more measured.
Ruta Meilutye (LTU) had other ideas: having split 29.97 on the way to a 1:04.35 world record last Tuesday, she would surely challenge her European 50m record of 29.96 in a race without a turn.
The draw will had helped: after Hardy clocked 29.90 in the first semi, you could have cut the air with a knife, tension tangible as Efimova and Meilutyte [photo: Aniko Kovacs] rose to their blocks.
The 16-year-old schoolgirl based at Plymouth Leander and College had scribbled her name on to the starting block for lane 4 in the final by the time the field broke into its stroke only to find Meilutyte in a new class a head and shoulders ahead of them. If her reaction time, consistently under 0.6 and on 0.57sec this evening, had a distinct edge on the rest, the energy unleashed in the keenest twitch fibres in the race provided the momentum for a mega-sprint for our times: 29.48.
“There was no extra motivation from Yuliya’s record earlier today,” insisted Meilutyte, now $50,000 richer for her two world records. “I didn’t swim at 100 percent in the heats this morning and I gave it my all tonight because there are only two swims left [at these Championships].”