• Swimming World Championships

Meilutyte sets world record at 16

ESPN staff
July 29, 2013
Ruta Meilutyte is a teenage world record holder © AP

Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte, the Plymouth-based 16-year-old, sparked the Swimming World Championships into life with a world record in the 100 metres breaststroke on Monday.

Meilutyte, a revelation in London 12 months ago, set a new record of one minute 04.30 seconds in the semi-finals in Barcelona, breaking Jessica Hardy's 2009 mark.

The Lithuanian admitted that the world record was the priority for her this week, with victory in Tuesday's final - if it happens - now a bonus.

"I'll have a relaxing day tomorrow and save all my energy for the final," Meilutyte said. "My biggest aim is accomplished now and I'll give it my best shot in the final."

She added: "[The world record is] one of the steps, one of the dreams. Obviously, a gold medal would be a cherry on top of the ice cream."

Elsewhere, there was 100m breaststroke gold for Christian Sprenger, after he overhauled Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh over the final metres.

"It was amazing," the Australian said. "I feel really lucky because I needed to compete against Cameron and at least I won."

Brazilian Cesar Cielo was victrious in the 50m butterfly, while Sarah Sjostrom was victorious in the women's 100m equivalent.

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