World Champion Again – Rūta Meilutytė

Lithuanian swimmer Rūta Meilutytė won her third consecutive world champion title in the 50m breaststroke (50m pool). The Lithuanian defended her title in Doha, Qatar on February 18 and her first place after the semi-finals. 

In the semi-finals, Meilutytė finished 50m in 29.42 seconds. She was 0.38 seconds ahead of her closest rival, China’s Tang Qianting, who gave her a tough fight in the final.

The Chinese, who fought with Meilutytė until the very last centimetre, forced the Lithuanian to improve her time once again (29.40), while Tang Qianting was just 0.11 seconds behind, improving her personal best and the Asian continental record once again.

After the semi-finals, Rūta was saying that the final swim would be “interesting” and she was right, even though Benedetta Pilato (30.01), who won bronze, had said that the Lithuanian would definitely win.

Meilutytė won the World Championships medal for the fourth time in her career. The first time she won silver was back in 2013. In 2015 and 2017, Rūta finished 4th. In 2022 and 2023, she won gold.

After the competition last weekend, she said “I am very proud of myself and the path I have taken. I am proud of Lithuania. I am grateful for my team, my support, I feel very positive.”