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2013.07.31 09:23

Miss Meilutytė splashes into the record books

Alex Tigani | The Lithuania Tribune2013.07.31 09:23

Twenty four hours before Lithuanian swimmer Rūta Meilutytė celebrated her first year anniversary as an Olympic Gold medallist, the 16-year-old continued to rewrite her sport’s record books. 

Twenty four hours before Lithuanian swimmer Rūta Meilutytė celebrated her first year anniversary as an Olympic Gold medallist, the 16-year-old continued to rewrite her sport’s record books.

After capturing the hearts of millions when rewarded with that famous Gold medal in London, Meilutytė has so far conquered her first FINA (Long Course) World Championship tournament in Barcelona by breaking her first World record.

Specialising in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke, Rūta Meilutytė recorded the fastest heat time in the first day of competition with 1:04.52 ahead of American Jessica Hardy 1:05.18 and another 58 competitors.

Yuliya Yefimova was the only other swimmer to break a record in the heats, her 1:05.24 a new Russian national record.

Though the feat would allow Meilutytė to record her 5th European record and take out the FINA World Championship record from American Rebecca Soni (1:04.84), Hardy’s World record of 1:04.84 would stand until 6.30 that evening…

Cometh the hour, cometh the young woman – Meilutytė stormed home to take out the new world record of 1:04:84 in front of a worldwide audience, booking lane number four for the 2013 200m Women’s Breaststroke World Championship final race.

See Meilutytė World record breaking race here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgSyAbhsYQQ

Post-race, the teenager admitted to the press that the World record was more important to her than the potential Gold medal itself.

“Well, it’s one of the steps, one of the dreams. A gold medal would be a cherry on top of the ice cream,” said Meilutytė.

“I’ll have a relaxing day and save all my energy for the final. My biggest aim is accomplished now and I’ll give it my best shot in the final”.

Regardless of whether or not Meilutytė can win the Gold tonight, fans should be proud of her efforts these last 365 days.

Hopefully the end of this twelve month period will see Lithuania’s sporting princess recognised as world swimming’s future queen.

Meilutytė’s last 12 months:

30 July, 2012: The fifteen-year-old claims the Summer Olympic Gold medal for the 100m Women’s Breaststroke in London.

Becoming:

-          The youngest Olympic medallist in Lithuanian history.

-          The first Lithuanian swimmer to win an Olympic medal.

-          The fifth Lithuanian Gold medallist (post-Soviet occupation).

-          The second Lithuanian female Gold medallist (post-Soviet occupation).

10 August, 2012: Presented with the “Cross of Order for Merits to Lithuania” by the nation’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

13 October, 2012: Meilutytė wins her first FINA (Short Course) World Cup Gold medal in the 50m freestyle (short course) with a time of 24.97 in Stockholm, Sweden.

-          Meilutytė’s time is set as the new Lithuanian national record.

8 December, 2012: Selected as the “2012 European young athlete of the year” at the 41st European Olympic Committee’s (EOC) General Assembly.

13 December, 2012: The Lithuanian wins her first FINA (Short Course) World Championship Gold medal ahead of Jamaican Alia Atkinson and Australian Sarah Katsoulis in the 50m Women’s Breaststroke final with a time of 29.44 seconds.

-          Meilutytė’s time is set as both the European and Championship record.

13 December, 2012: Meilutytė records the 5th highest freestyle (short course) heat time of 53.54 but is unable to continue to her Breaststroke commitments.

-          Meilutytė’s time is set as the new Lithuanian national record.

14 December, 2012: The Lithuanian receives her first FINA (Short Course) World Championship Silver medal in the Women’s 100 m medley behind Hungarian Katinka Hosszú whose time of 58.49 seconds breaks the Championship record.

-          Meilutytė’s time of 58.79 seconds was still enough to break the Lithuanian national record.

15 December, 2012: The Lithuanian collects her second FINA (Short Course) World Championship Gold medal ahead of Jamaican Alia Atkinson and Danish Rikke Pedersen in the 100m Women’s Breaststroke final with a time of 1:03.52.

-          Meilutytė’s time is set as both the European and Championship record.

22 December, 2012: Meilutytė records a time of 2:09.55 in the Women’s 200m individual medley (short course) at the Lithuanian Championships.

-          Meilutytė’s time is set as the new Lithuanian national record.

24 February, 2013: Meilutytė records a time of 2:13.69 in the Women’s 200m individual medley (long course) at the British Universities & Colleges Championships.

-          Meilutytė’s time is set as the new Lithuanian national record.

7 March, 2013: Meilutytė records a time of 55.28 seconds in the 100 m freestyle (long course) at the       British GAS International.

-          Meilutytė’s time is set as the new Lithuanian national record.

19 March, 2013: Rūta celebrates her sweet 16th birthday!

7 May,  2013: Meilutytė records a time of 2.02.68 seconds in the 200m freestyle (long course) in competition.

-          Meilutytė’s time is set as the new Lithuanian national record.

11 June, 2013: Meilutytė records a time of 29.96 seconds in the 50m breaststroke (long course) at the International Swimming Meeting of Barcelona.

-          Meilutytė’s time is set as both the Lithuanian national and European record.

13 July, 2013: Meilutytė records a time of 25.26 seconds in the 50 m freestyle (long course) at the ARENA European Junior Swimming Championships.

-          Meilutytė’s time is set as the new Lithuanian national record.

29 July, 2013: Meilutytė records a time of 1:04:84 seconds in the 200m breaststroke (long course) at the 2013 FINA World Championships.

-          Meilutytė breaks the world record.