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Meilutyte sets record in claiming world gold

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 14, 2012

Ruta Meilutyte reacts after her victory at the women's 50m breaststroke final in Istanbul picture: AP

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Ruta Meilutyte continued her remarkable success in 2012 when she won gold in the 50m breaststroke final at the World Short-Course Championships in Istanbul last night, in a new event record.

The 15-year-old set a new European best on the way to 100m gold at London 2012 and her performance in Turkey was record-breaking again as she lowered the championship mark to 29.44sec.

Meilutyte, who studies at Plymouth College but swims for her country of birth, Lithuania, was 0.23sec ahead of Jamaica's Alia Atkinson, with Sarah Katsoulis, of Australia, third.

Only American Jessica Hardy has swum the distance faster, with a world record 28.80, which does not stand as a national record because it was done legally in a techsuit internationally after USA Swimming banned techsuits domestically.

"I really didn't expect it," Meilutyte said. "I just like [the 50], and because it goes well, then I do it.

"At the moment it feels just like I have swum a normal race, but it will start sinking in. It's crazy. Jessica [Hardy] had a race before, so I think she was a bit tired.

"I'm really happy [with the result], I did my own race, I didn't look at anyone else."

Meilutyte added: "Really, really pleased. I couldn't ask for more – a championship record and gold. Every medal I win is something special."

Great Britain's Hannah Miley, meanwhile, narrowly failed to add to her medal tally in the 800m freestyle final. The 23-year-old, who won gold in the individual medley on Wednesday night, finished fourth.

Ieuan Lloyd set his third Welsh record in two days as he led off the 4x200m freestyle squad in 1:45.24, the quartet finishing seventh as Ryan Lochte picked up his third gold medal – and fourth overall – with the United States.

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