Which Champions Will Keep Their Crowns In Kazan? Form Guide: Women’s Breaststroke

Ruta Meilutyte sets sights on Kazan crown - [Photo: La Presse, for Arena]

In our series looking ahead to the World Championships, we’ve started to consider which titles will be defended and how the holder is shaping up. After the men, we turned to the women, medley followed by butterfly, and today, breaststroke

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In our series looking ahead to the World Championships, we’ve started to consider which titles will be defended and how the holder is shaping up. After the men, we turned to the women, medley followed by butterfly, and today, breaststroke



The US’s policy is to offer an open 50 meter dash race entry to the champion of the 100 of that stroke. In this case Hardy was also the 50 breast champ, so protocol apparently called for the coaches to offer the second spot to Lawrence, who tied for first in the 100 breast with her. That wasn’t the best policy IMO, because Larson was the US silver medalist in the 50, came in a close 4th at 2013 Worlds in the event, is one of the few women who has gone under 30 seconds in textile, has consistently better opening speed in all of her 100’s than Lawrence AND is only entered in 1 event in Kazan! Ugh!

I suppose we know Meilutyte and Efimova will split the gold and silver medals between them anyway, but when your national silver medalist is on the Team, WHY give the spot to your #4 athlete, epecially when your #1 athlete is recovering from shoulder surgery?! I hope they’ll at least give Larson a swim in the mixed medley to show what kind of speed she has.


What I find curious about Efimova – aside from her doping – is that her 100 of 1:05 is relatively slow, when she has 29.5 and 2:19

Rain Maker

Deep talent in the 100m breast for the ladies. Will be an exciting race!


Hopefully either McKeown or Wallace can medal for Australia this year…

Craig Lord

roy, the answer to your question was already in the article…


I don’t know… Jones was one full second slower than Efimova in both 50 and 200, but Efimova’s 100 PB is only about the same as Jones’ 100 PB. I would think a 1:04.50 for Efimova should have been more appropriate.

Craig Lord

Not off a 30.84, aswimfan… Rebecca Soni another example: 30.78, 1:04.91 (34.13) … have to be out faster for a 1:04.5


Shame Leisel Jones was not the first one to break 1:05 barrier, she came sooo close at her prime


Leisel certainly had all the talent in the world to go 1:04

I remember watching her 2005 Montreal 200 swim. Such a beautiful swim.


Jones had the talent but didn’t have it mentally together until the 2nd half of her career. Her race skills (especially her starts) were horrendous for at least the first 4-5 years and whilst improved they may’ve cost her that sub 1.05.

Verram, sorry not seeing any medals for either McKeown or Wallace at Worlds. McK WAS a potential medal shot on last year’s times & performances but her 200 seems a bit “off” from last year’s high. Both look reasonable shots at making 200 final & McK some chance of doing so over 100 but both would need to drop a second in either to medal ….. could happen but favour others.

Ana Paula Ambrosio

You are fantastic journalist, but is pretty obvious all these articles related to doping has a touch of “personal interest”. Its incredible how Russians and Chinese are so bad on doping, sometimes the Brazilians, but where are all the others? Why you mentioned Jessica Hardy without any doping relation, since she was busted for 2 years doping, later reduced by the american court, for her own sponsor supplement company.
Doping is a very bad thing for all sports. But they have their rules, regulations and punishments. After that is over, why should we keep punishing someone who already served their time. Doping is everywhere.

Craig Lord

Ana Paula, the only obvious thing is that I am bound to disagree with you. There is no personal interest: I am not an athlete and I don’t dope nor do I have to face dopers after having worked my backside off before reaching blocks on the big occasion … what is relevant and what I do have is a record of 25 years of writing on doping issues wherever they may fall. I couldn’t care less if the culprit is from china, britain, brazil, USA, Russia, Ireland, mars or mercury. You say ‘Why you mentioned Jessica Hardy without any doping relation’ – I suggest you read the article again – I do mention her doping case and I have done on many occasions.
As for ‘its over’: no, it is not, not for those denied, it is never over – tell that to Babashoff, tell it to Wagner, tell it to Kelly, tell it to dozens and dozens and some down the years … swimming history is littered with results where we know the winner subsequently tested positive or the truth emerged in some way – but the result remains and official bodies have left it that way (sleeping dogs best left etc – I was never a fan of such things).
It is impossible to regard Efimova, Sun and other big winners in the same way after they have fallen foul of doping rules – their world has changed – and so it should … that’s why the rules say ‘we don’t do this’ and around the world are coaches and programs doing their best every day to instil good culture in kids and parents (not to mention the vast budgets of anti-doping agencies, often publicly funded, spent not only on testing but education) and comply with the rules on whereabouts and much else.
Remorse and a sense that the athlete knows they have done wrong would be something good to see a little more of. What we get instead is things like Sun Yang appearing on a deck at the Asian Games with a banned doctor in tow – that’s a strange way to show remorse – and no way to show you got it and that you at least read the rules and respect them (that goes for CSA too); what we get is athletes bouncing back after bans in a way that suggests they cannot possibly have complied with the full terms of suspension during their time out (or if they have then vast numbers of programs are going badly wrong somewhere).
I removed your direct accusation on a particular country on two grounds: not swimming and no real contextual interest – plus no facts to back up an opinion stated as a fact: in swimming we have the stats we have … and those and the presence of cheating in the sport do not mean that all are guilty and should be tarred with the same brush. That simply makes it way too easy for rogues and cheats to shrug and say ‘well, I had to do it – they were all at it” (I happen to believe that is not the case).
You say ‘Doping is everywhere’. No its not (and even if you were right it would excuse nothing). Easy to just shrug and set things aside, within the sport and reporting on it. I won’t be doing that.

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