Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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