After the semifinal heats of the women’s 100 meter breaststroke, the swimming pool may have its next budding rivalry.
Russia’s Yulia Efimova, who originally was banned from competing in these Olympics as part of a widespread probe into the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Russian athletes, posted the top qualifying time in the first semifinal heat with a time of 1:05.72. But in the second semifinal heat that time would be exceeded by Lilly King of the United States, who won her heat with a time of 1:05.70.
That gives King the top seed in Monday’s final. And with the Indiana University swimmer making her feelings about Efimova’s doping issues quite clear in her post-heat interview, that should make for an entertaining final. King is one of two Americans who qualified for the final, with Katie Meili finishing her heat in 1:06.52.
Also reaching the final was Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, who ranked fifth among the qualifiers with a time of 1:06.44. Meilutyte is the current world record-holder in the 100 breaststroke, as she posted a time of 1:04.35 in 2013.