King denies tearful Efimova in 100m breaststroke

Tue Aug 9, 2016 1:42am EDT
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By Mark Trevelyan and Jack Stubbs

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Lilly King of the United States won the Olympic gold medal in the women's 100 meters breaststroke on Monday, denying Russia's Yulia Efimova who was greeted with resounding boos from the Rio de Janeiro crowd.

Katie Meili of the United States took the bronze, with London 2012 champion Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania fading in the second length to finish seventh.

There were loud jeers before the start of the race for Efimova, who has twice been suspended for doping offences.

The 24-year-old world champion won a legal challenge last week to get herself reinstated to the Olympics, having previously been excluded because of her doping record.

King swam a strong first 50 meters and led at the turn, with Efimova well back in fourth place. The Russian surged forward in the second half of the race and appeared to be catching her rival, but King finished powerfully in an Olympic record time of one minute 4.93 seconds, with Efimova 0.57 seconds behind.

"It just proves that you can compete clean and still come out on top," King said. Before leaving the poolside, she patted the Russian on the back.

Efimova, who after months of uncertainty learned only last Friday that she could compete, broke down after the race in front of reporters, crying into the arms of a friend.

"I can't say that I'm happy, it's just good that I was able to compete," she said.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Final - Women's 100m Breaststroke Final - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 08/08/2016. Lilly King (USA) of USA celebrates  REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth