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London Olympics 2012

Rūta Meilutytė


Rūta MeilutytėRūta MeilutytėRūta MeilutytėRūta MeilutytėRūta Meilutytė

Rūta Meilutytė, born 19 March 1997 in Kaunas, Lithuania is a gold medal winning swimmer. At the age of 15, she had already broken nine Lithuanian women's swimming records. At the 2011 European Youth Summer Olympic Festival in Trabzon, Turkey she won the gold medal in the 100 meter breaststroke, a silver in the 50 meter freestyle and a bronze in the 100 meter freestyle. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Meilutytė won the gold medal in the women's 100 meter breaststroke with a time of 1:05.47, becoming the first Lithuanian swimmer since Lithuania's Declaration of Independence from the Soviet Union in 1990 to earn an Olympic medal in swimming. At age 15, she is also the youngest Lithuanian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal.

In the semi-final the previous day, she broke the European record in the 100 meter breastroke with a time of 1:05:21. In the final, following a fault at the start, where the buzzer sounded before the swimmers were told to take their marks, Meilutyte astonished both herself and the crowd to hold off her challengers and win the race. As she emerged from the water at the end of the swimming pool she almost looked like she thought she had done something wrong. The look on her face seemed to say - "what have I done? I was not supposed to win this race. Now I must be in some sort of trouble. All through the poolside interview by the BBC she kept looking around completely distracted as if she was looking for someone.

Meilutytė is a swimming scholar at Plymouth College, the same Plymouth school as UK Diver Tom Daley, and is coached by Jon Rudd at the Plymouth Leander Swimming programme.

According to her coach "She is a talented and vigilant worker. When you've got talent and work ethic you've got a great kid."

Plymouth College assistant head-teacher Sarah Dunn said of the victory: "We were almost in tears, it was such an achievement. We knew she had great potential when she arrived at Plymouth College three years ago. Not only is she a fantastic athlete, but she is also a great scholar. She has always demonstrated superb talent and the hunger and desire to succeed. We had every confidence in her. To achieve what she has at such a young age is incredible. She is a real credit and we are so proud of her."

Meilutytė lost her mother when she was only 4 years old. She only vaguely remembers her, but relatives say that many of the swimmer's physical traits are inherited from her mother. Although not particularly tall, she has had size 43 feet (11 US) ever since she was just 13 years-old.

Rūta Meilutytė

gold medal Gold Medal       gold medal Silver Medal     gold medal Bronze Medal

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source: www.wikipedia.org







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