|Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte smashes the women’s 100m breaststroke short-course world record at the World Cup meet in Moscow on Saturday. — AFP|
The 16-year-old Meilutyte clocked 1:02.36 to easily break the previous best of 1:02.70 set by American Rebecca Soni at Manchester in December 2009.
“I didn’t expect to set any records,” said the Lithuanian teenager who finished 1.17 ahead of Russian Yulia Efimova, with Jamaican Alia Shanee Atkinson in third (1:04.64).
“I started practising seriously just three weeks ago and I’m still far from my top form.
“But every meeting with Efimova forces me to stay completely focused. I love to compete with her as it brings out the best of me over the distance. Today’s record is the best proof of it.”
Russia’s team number one (Sergei Makov, Andrey Grechin, Daria Tcvetkova and Ekaterina Borovikova) also set a new world record in the mixed 4x50m medley relay with a time of 1:41.70.
2012 World Cup winner Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, who tops the women’s World Cup general standings, clinched five podium places (200m and 800m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 50m and 200m backstroke) before winning the 200m individual medley with a time of 2:06.86.
Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden was also on song winning three events (50m and 200m freestyles and 100m butterfly) in Moscow’s Olympic swimming pool.
South Africa’s Olympic and world champion Chad Le Clos won the men’s 200m butterfly.
The 21-year-old, who beat Michael Phelps in the event at last year’s London Olympics, clocked a time of 1:49.83 to finish more than two seconds ahead of American Tom Shields.
“I’m happy to come back to Moscow where I’ve won previously on several occasions,” Le Clos said.
Le Clos finished second in the 50m butterfly won in 22.36 by compatriot Roland Schoeman, who also won the 50m breaststroke (25.83).
The local crowd’s favourite Vladimir Morozov, who is currently second in the World Cup overall standings, finished first in the men’s 100m freestyle with a time of 45.68.
Morozov then went on to top the podium in the 100m individual medley. — AFP