EFIMOVA LEADS RUSSIAN CHARGE 15 SPORTS
Budapest, Hungary - Russia won three titles on its golden Friday at the world championships as the controversial Yuliya Efimova won the women's 200m breaststroke title to gain revenge over arch-rival Lilly King.
Russia also won gold in the men's 200m breaststroke final, plus the men's 200m backstroke and a silver in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay, but the real drama was Efimova's breaststroke victory.
The Russian clocked two minutes, 19.64 seconds after a powerful last 50m, finishing 2.13s ahead of second-placed Bethany Galat, while America's King, who led after the first length from lane eight, faded to finish fourth at 2.47s back.
It was a clear defeat for King, the 100m Olympic champion, who sparked a war-of-words with the Russian at the Rio de Janeiro Games last year after labelling Efimova a "drug cheat" due to her 16-month ban for doping up until February 2015.
On Tuesday, King broke the world-record in winning the women's 100m breaststroke gold, when Efimova finished third and the Russian relished victory over the longer distance.
"Lilly King congratulated me, I didn't see her during the race, as she was in lane eight, but she was on my mind throughout," admitted Efimova.
Silver medallist Galat was impressed with Efimova's powerful display. "I don't know Yuliya personally, her time was incredible - she's a heck of a swimmer and a heck of a breaststroker," said America's Galat.
In the wake of Efimova's win, Anton Chupkov took the men's 200m breaststroke final to complete the double, by clocking a new championships record of two minutes, 06.96 seconds, and the 20 year old hailed Russia's success.
Russia's hat-trick was started by Evgeny Rylov in the men's 200m backstroke title. Rylov, 20, clocked one minute, 53.61 seconds to take gold with Olympic 100m and 200m champion Ryan Murphy of the US second at 0.60.
Murphy paid his dues to the new world champion and the American said he will have to train hard just to match him.
"I'm definitely disappointed, I'm a competitor I want to be the guy that's finishing first," said Murphy, who also had to settle for bronze over 100m.
The Americans did have something to cheer as Simone Manuel won the women's 100m freestyle final to leave Sweden's Sarah Sjostorm, who broke the world-record holder on Sunday, to settle for silver.
Manuel touched the wall at 52.27 seconds with Sjostrom at 0.04 back while Pernille Blume of Denmark took bronze at 0.42.
Great Britain finished the night with gold in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay as James Guy sealed victory with a powerful anchor leg as Russia took silver and the USA third.
Bahraini 13 year old takes plunge
Like many her age, Bahraini teenager Ritaj Amin, 13, likes listening to American pop idol Charlie Puth on her phone, reading books, and wearing nail polish.
This week though, as the youngest competitor at the world championships, Amin has been rubbing shoulders with swimming greats like US superstar Katie Ledecky, and South Africa's Chad Le Clos.
Benefitting from the Bahraini federation's policy of putting young swimmers on the world stage, Amin has followed closely in the slipstream of Alzain Tareq who was ten when she competed at the last world championships in Kazan, Russia, in 2015.
Currently Bahrain's fastest women swimmer, Amin posted a personal best in her 50m butterfly heat on Friday, although she fell well short of reaching the semifinal.
Russia's Yuliya Efimova on way to gold in the women's 200m breaststroke in Budapest, Hungary on Friday