Ruta Meilutyte claims Fina Swimming World Cup 100m breaststroke crown

Meilutyte has enjoyed a stunning return to World Cup racing after a five-year absence – FINA

World and European champion Ruta Meilutyte continued her stunning run at the Fina Swimming World Cup with a third-successive 100m breaststroke title on day two in Indianapolis.

The London 2012 Olympic gold medallist, who claimed victories in the first two legs in Berlin and Toronto last month, dominated her latest final.

The Lithuanian moved clear of Rio Olympic champion Lilly King from the USA in the opening 50m and was under world record pace at that stage, before coming home in one minutes 2.77 seconds.

King was second, with Israel’s Anastasia Gorbenko third.

That secured her a bonus pay out of $10,000 dollars for completing a trio of 100m wins. Meilutytewill go for a second Fina ‘crown’ in the 50m on Saturday.

“I’m super happy and it’s always nice to get some money, these aren’t easy times,” she told Fina TV after the race.

“I’m just so grateful to be able to do it and super happy to keep up good times and even improve and it’s been a great few weeks.

The breaststroker continued; “Going into the final I really tried to focus on the present and live for the future and enjoy every moment of the race, even the painful moments.

“I’m really happy to do that and I see it as the biggest success, being able to enjoy the process and being present with what I’m doing.”

Hansson claimed 100m breaststroke gold at Roma 2022 – Simone Castrovillari / LEN

Another European winner on the second night of the final Fina Swimming World Cup of the season was Louise Hansson in the 50m butterfly final.

The Swedish 100m backstroke World short course champion has enjoyed an impressive start to the season across both the backstroke and butterfly disciplines.

Her latest success – in 25.16 seconds saw her edge out Beryl Gastaldello of France by 0.02 secs.

“I think the 50m is going to be key distance for me to try to master some of the skills for the 100m, especially when it comes to the long course,” she told Fina.

“I feel like the details are not quite there with my stroke rate and a few things, but It was a lot of fun to do it today and I secured a best time.”

Nicolo Martinenghi claimed 50m and 100m gold at Roma 2022 – Simone Castrovillari / LEN

Other Europeans who secured top-three finishes in Indianapolis included European champion Nicolo Martinenghi of Italy in the 50m breaststroke, won by USA’s Nic Fink, while Ondrej Gemov was also second to an American – double Olympic champion Bobby Finke – in the 1500m final.

Italy’s Thomas Ceccon (100m free) and Danas Rapsys of Lithuania (200m individual medley) also finished second in their respective races.

Among the major successes for non-European athletes were two stunning world junior records – within the space of 12 minutes – for 17-year-old American Bella Sims in the 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke, the latter of which she won.

Kyle Chalmers (100m free), Nic Fink (50m breaststroke) and Siobhan Haughey (200m free) and Dylan Carter (50m back) also completed triple crowns.