Americans Lilly King, Kieran Smith, Nic Fink and Dakota Luther won individual titles on the third day of the six-day world short course swimming championships in Melbourne on Thursday.
King, the 2016 Olympic 100m breaststroke gold medalist, overtook Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte, the 2012 Olympic 100m breast champion, in the last 10 meters of Thursday’s final. Short course worlds are held in 25-meter pools, while most other major international meets, like the Olympics, are in 50-meter pools.
Meilutyte was later disqualified for making more than one butterfly kick prior to the first breaststroke kick at the start. Race video is timestamped atop this post.
“In 2016, I was at [this] meet, and I thought I was invincible, and [Jamaican] Alia [Atkinson] played me like a fiddle and whipped my butt,” King said, according to World Aquatics. “I have had that sour taste in my mouth for the last six years, and it’s good to get the title back.”
Smith, the Tokyo Olympic 400m freestyle bronze medalist, earned his first individual global title by winning Thursday’s 400m free. He clocked 3 minutes, 34.38 seconds to break the longest-standing American record in an individual short course event — Peter Vanderkaay‘s mark from 2009.
Fink won the 100m breast, six months after taking bronze in the event at the world championships in a 50-meter pool. He touched in 55.88 seconds, while reigning world champion Nicolo Martinenghi of Italy took silver and reigning Olympic champion Adam Peaty of Great Britain earned bronze.
Fink later told Swimswam that he did his final submission for his master’s degree in computer and electrical engineering in between the morning prelims and evening finals Thursday.
Luther won the 200m butterfly a year after placing sixth in the event at the U.S. Olympic Trials. She led a U.S. one-two with Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Hali Flickinger.
The U.S. roster at worlds is headlined by individual Olympic gold medalists King and Ryan Murphy, plus Torri Huske, who earned six medals June’s worlds in Budapest (50-meter pool), and Claire Curzan, who won five medals in Budapest.
SHORT COURSE WORLDS: Full Results
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