Swimming at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's 100 metre breaststroke
|Women's 100 metre breaststroke
at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
|Venue||London Aquatics Centre|
|Date||July 29, 2012 (heats &
July 30, 2012 (final)
|Competitors||46 from 36 nations|
|Swimming at the
2012 Summer Olympics
At only 15 years of age, Rūta Meilutytė defeated a vastly more sophisticated field to become Lithuania's first ever gold medalist in swimming under its own banner. Dominating the race from the start, she pulled away from the field to an unexpected triumph in a sterling time of 1:05.47. U.S. top favorite and reigning world champion Rebecca Soni held on a sprint challenge from the Lithuanian teen at the halfway turn, but ended up defending her silver instead from Beijing four years earlier in 1:05.55. Meanwhile, Satomi Suzuki powered home with the bronze in 1:06.46, handing Japan its first ever medal in the event's history.
Jamaica's Alia Atkinson raced on the outside lane after her swim-off triumph over Canada's Tera van Beilen in the semifinals, but narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place time in 1:06.93. Competing in her fourth Olympics as Australia's first ever swimmer, defending Olympic champion Leisel Jones finished fifth in a credible time of 1:06.96 to end her illustrious career with a full set of medals.
U.S. swimmer Breeja Larson escaped from a "no false-start" rule to pull off a sixth-place finish in 1:06.96, as the issue of her pre-race jump came with a faulty starting system. Russia's Yuliya Yefimova (1:06.98) and Denmark's Rikke Pedersen (1:07.55) rounded out the field.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Jessica Hardy (USA)||1:04.45||Federal Way, United States||7 August 2009|
|Olympic record||Leisel Jones (AUS)||1:05.17||Beijing, China||10 August 2008|
|1||4||Rebecca Soni||United States||1:05.98||Q|
|2||5||Breeja Larson||United States||1:06.70||Q|
|8||Tera van Beilen||Canada||QSO|
|7||7||Suzaan van Biljon||South Africa||1:07.68|
|1||4||Rūta Meilutytė||Lithuania||1:05.21||Q, EU, NR|
|1||5||Alia Atkinson||Jamaica||1:06.79||Q, NR|
|2||4||Tera van Beilen||Canada||1:07.73|
|5||Rebecca Soni||United States||1:05.55|
|6||6||Breeja Larson||United States||1:06.96||*|
* False start, but she was not disqualified due to technical error.
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- "Women's 100m Breaststroke – Heats". London 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.