Ruta Meilutyte continued her impressive form at the Fina Swimming World Cup with victory over fellow Olympic champion Lilly King in the 100m breaststroke final on the second night of action in Toronto.
The Lithuanian, who claimed wins over both the 100m and 50m at the first leg in Berlin last week, led from the first 25m, but King pushed her rival close throughout a fascinating encounter.
Meilutyte touched in one minute 2.95 seconds, with King 0.28 seconds behind and Germany’s Anna Elendt (1:04.07) taking third.
“I love the heat of competition and being close with other girls and swimming fast really is the best feeling,” Meilutyte told Fina.
The London 2012 Olympic gold medallist was just 0.04 seconds short of the 50m breaststroke world record in Berlin and will be expected to challenge that mark again on the final night of racing in Toronto on Sunday.
Kacper Stokowski of Poland took silver in the 50m backstroke, which was won by Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago.
Beryl Gastaldello of France followed up her 100m individual medley win on the opening night in Toronto with second in the 50m butterfly final, with home favourite Maggie Mac Neil of Canada taking gold.
100m backstroke world record holder and European champion Thomas Ceccon of Italy took second in the 100m freestyle final, which saw Australia’s Kyle Chalmers claim a sixth World Cup win in a row in the event.
Caspar Corbeau of the Netherlands took second in the 100m breaststroke, as American Nic Fink won his fifth successive Fina World Cup breaststroke victory.
Fellow Dutch swimmer Kira Toussaint missed the first Fina World Cup in Berlin after fracturing her finger in training and needed a further scan after competing in the heats of the 100m backstroke.
The ten-time European champion was the quickest qualify quickest from the heats and although she finished fifth in the final, her time from the morning heat (56.58) was enough to secure her a place in the Netherlands’ World Short Course Championships squad.
“I should have finished on my left hand, but I was scared to do that so I finished on my right hand and I’m a bit upset with that, but my goal was to qualify and I’ve done that,” she said.
The major international highlight of the evening came in the women’s 1500m freestyle final where legendary swimmer Katie Ledecky broke the world record in a breath-taking display.
Her time of 15 minutes and 8.24 seconds was 9.77 secs under the previous mark set by Sarah Wellbrock of Germany in 2018.