Golden King breaks women's 50m breaststroke world record

AFP
Lilly King of the United States claims her second world record this week in winning the women's 50-meter breaststroke gold at the FINA world championships on Sunday.
AFP
Reuters

Lilly King of the United States reacts after winning the women's 50-meter breaststroke final at the FINA world championships in Budapest, Hungary, on July 30, 2017.

Lilly King of the United States claimed her second world record this week in winning the women's 50-meter breaststroke gold at the FINA world championships on Sunday.

King clocked 29.40 seconds, breaking Ruta Meilutyte's four-year-old record of 29.48, with Russia's Yuliya Efimova taking silver at 0.17 back and America's Katie Meili earning bronze at 0.59.

This was the second world record the 20-year-old King has broken in Budapest after also lowering Lithuanian Meilutyte's time for the 100 breaststroke in winning last Tuesday's final.

The victory was King's second this week over rival Efimova, who took bronze in the 100 final but had beaten the American over 200 with a commanding display on Friday when King finished fourth.

The American sparked a war of words at last year's Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games when she branded the Russian a drugs cheat after Efimova's 16-month ban for doping which ended in February 2015.

Meili paid tribute to her American teammate.

"I'm satisfied, that's my first time under 30 seconds," said the 26-year-old, who also took breaststroke silver over 100. 

"I think Lily always has a world record in her, she's been incredible this week, really fast, we're very proud of her."

There was more good news for the US as Chase Kalisz won the men's 400 individual medley gold to complete the IM double in Budapest.

Kalisz, won also won the 200 IM title on Thursday, clocked a new championships-record time of 4 minutes, 05.90 seconds with Hungary's David Verraszto taking silver at 2.48 back and Daiya Seto of Japan earning bronze at 3.24.

"It's a huge step for me," said the 23-year-old Kalisz, the first American to win the title since Ryan Lochte in 2011.

"This is what I came here for, I am really excited about this race."

In the next race, Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden won the women's 50 freestyle gold for her third sprint title in Budapest.

Sjostrom clocked 23.69 with Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands silver at 0.16 back and Simone Manuel of the US earning bronze at 0.28 to set a new Americas record of 23.97.

Sjostrom was just 0.02 seconds off her own world record which she set on Saturday night in qualifying for the final as she produced another storming display.

The Swedish sprinter now has three individual golds in Budapest after her wins in the 50 and 100 butterfly finals.

However, she had to settle for a disappointing silver in the 100 freestyle on Friday when she lost by just 0.04 to Manuel.

"I didn't think my first freestyle gold would be in the 50, but there you go," she said, referring to Friday's defeat on the wall.

"I've been chasing the freestyle, so it's good that I won this. That was not a perfect race, so I was surprised when I saw the time.

"It was a very fast first 25, although the finish was very bad, but finals are all about winning the gold.

"It would be nice to see how fast I can swim in this distance when I get even stronger," she said with one eye on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Sjostrom will leave Budapest with two world records after she became the first woman to swim the 100 freestyle under 52 seconds last Sunday.


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