Aleksejus Podpruginas | The Lithuania Tribune
The 15 year old Lithuanian swimmer, Rūta Meilutytė, became the new world breaststroke champion to swim to 50 meters in the world championship for short pools (25 meters), which took place in Istanbul, Turkey, yesterday. Meilutytė, an Olympic gold medalist, finished the final race yesterday with an another European record, a new world championship record, her personal best and a new national record for Lithuania after she touched the finish line after 29.44 seconds.
The second place went to the Jamaican swimmer, Alia Atkinson, who also broke the Jamaican national record for the second time after she finished with a time of 29.67. Atkinson was in second place after Meilutytė during the whole tournament, from the very first race in the heats. The bronze medal went to Australia, after the Australian swimmer, Sarah Katsoulis, finished with a time of 29.94. The world record holder, the American Jessica Hardy, who finished the heats and the semifinals in third place, was disappointed when she finished only in fifth place with a time of 30.01 seconds. Hardy claimed the world record in 2009 when she stopped the clock at 28.80 seconds.
During the whole tournament, right from the heats, Meilutytė was at the front. In the first race she improved the championship record for the first time and claimed a new national record after finishing with a time of 29.56 seconds. This time put her in first place and got her into the semifinals. In the semis, Meilutytė successfuly improved the championship record again, as well as the national one. But this time, the talented young Lithuanian also improved the European record after she stopped the clock in Istanbul at 29.51 seconds. And again, Meilutytė finished in first place and made it to the finals. In the finals Meilutytė only saw the world record and she was very close to it after she finished again with new national, European and championship records and with a gold medal after she crossed the finish line with the great time of 29.44.
Meilutytė, who has become a hero in Lithuania and abroad following the Olympic games in London this year, entered the pool with a huge standing ovation and since she touched the water, she was in the lead and at the front. In the whole of Lithuania, life stopped for those 29.44 seconds, in order to see a new hero make the history of this small and great nation. There is nothing left to say besides ‘good luck’ and ‘best wishes’ to our new star Rūta Meilutytė.