Swimming: Plymouth's teen star adds world title to Olympic gold
Thursday 13 December 2012
Ruta Meilutyte now has a world title to go with the Olympic gold medal already stored in her locker at Plymouth College – and both secured at the age of 15. Tonight, the Lithuanian won the 50m breaststroke at the world short-course championships in Istanbul to cap a staggering year.
If the gold in London was a shock, this was less so for Meilutyte, who competes for the Plymouth Leander club where she is coached by the respected Jon Rudd. But it does underline the fact that her success in London – which was greeted by an admiring text from Wayne Rooney – was the emergence of a rare talent rather than a one-off. Meilutyte has shocked Rudd with her progress. Before London her most significant swim had been to win a gold at the European Youth Olympic festival last summer.
Tonight she held off a strong field over two lengths – world-record holder Jessica Hardy of the US finished only fifth. "I really didn't expect it," said Meilutyte, who began studying for her GCSEs after her Olympic triumph. "It's crazy. I just get in there and treat it like the rest."
Meilutyte is on a sports scholarship to Plymouth College, a private school, with the rest of her fees paid by Lithuania's Olympic Committee. Unfortunately for Britain she has no intention of switching nationality.
There were no medals for Britain last night, although Hannah Miley could hardly have come closer. The Scot gave another indication of her new direction since London by finishing fourth in the 800m freestyle, one of seven events in which she is competing this week. Miley, who wants to increase her workload, finished fourth in an event which is by no means her speciality, just 0.16sec short of the American Chloe Sutton, who took bronze.
Georgia Davies finished fifth in the 100m backstroke, 0.14sec off bronze, while Sophie Allen's fine form continued as she earned a place in tonight's 100m medley final.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United player ratings: Match-winner Eden Hazard leads the way, but Radamel Falcao endures game to forget
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0: Eight things we learnt as Blues step closer to the Premier League title
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Where are the tickets for the fight?
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho plays down news signings Nathan and Yoshinori Muto but talks up Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta needs 'five minutes' to sign new contract and remain with the Gunners
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...