Plymouth Leander’s Ruta Meilutyte clocks second fastest time in world

PLYMOUTH Leander swimmer Ruta Meilutyte clocked the second fastest time in the world this year on her way to victory in the 100m breaststoke event at the Sheffield Open Meet on Saturday.

The Olympic, World and European champion swam 1.05:99 for the two-length race to finish almost four-and-a-half seconds ahead of Liverpool’s Georgina Evans in second.

Only controversial Russian swimmer Yuliya Efimova, who recently returned from a 16-month doping ban, has clocked quicker in 2015.

Proud6.jpgThere was also victory for double Commonwealth Games champion Ben Proud in the 50m freestyle race in Sheffield.

Proud (pictured left) touched in 22.27 to beat his Leander team-mate Mindaugas Saduaskas (22.86) into second.

That sprint race proved a memorable one for the region’s swimmers with them filling the top six spots.

Third went to Leander’s Tom Fannon (22.48), fourth was Mount Kelly’s Julian Chan Quee Lin (24.09), with Plymouth’s John Slater (24.10) and Robert Fannon (24.25) fifth and sixth respectively.

Lithuanian star Saduaskas did get his own back on Proud in the 100m race. Saduaskas won in 51.39, with Proud second in 51.85.

There was an impressive swim from Leander’s Shauna Lee in the 200m freestyle race. She won in a time of 2:00.61, which was well ahead of Loughborough’s Victoria Cunningham (2:03.06) in second. Lee’s team-mate Juliette Casini was fifth.

Joe Hulme, Eliza Duffy and Sam Dailley also claimed titles on Saturday.

Great Britain junior international Hulme won the 100m backstroke in 56.85, Duffy triumphed in the 200m backstroke (2:15.27) and also came second in the 50m back, while Dailley claimed the boys’ 14 and under 100m freestyle title in 55.55 seconds.

Leander’s Commonwealth Games swimmer Charlotte Atkinson was narrowly edge out for top spot in both the 50m and 100m butterfly races by Loughborough’s Sophie Smith.

Smith clocked 27.40 in the 50m with Atkinson coming home in 27.50, while in the 100m, the Loughborough swimmer won in 1:00.10 compared to Atkinson’s 1:00.30.

The Sheffield event continues on Sunday at Ponds Forge.

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