Lilly King wins anticipated grudge race
Controversy continued on night three in the pool when former drug cheat Yulia Efimova was edged out by American 19-year-old Lilly King in the final of the 100m breaststroke. Just like the grudge race between Sun Yang and Mack Horton on day 1, there was a spicy narrative in the build-up.
King on Efimofa after yesterday’s semifinals: “You’re shaking your finger number one and you’ve been caught for drug cheating. I’m just not a fan. I’m going to go swim my heart out for USA and hopefully that turns out the best.”
Efimova, from Russia, tested positive for the anabolic steroid DHEA and was suspended from October 2013 to February 2015. She then tested positive for meldonium earlier this year but FINA lifted the ban on advice from WADA.
She was only given clearance to compete in Rio at the last minute after a successful appeal in which the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that previous sanctions are not a good enough reason to ban an athlete from the Games.
Efimova and her fellow Russian swimmers have been subject to jeers and boos by the spectators in the Aquatics centre.
As for the winner, King was delighted with her own victory, swum in an Olympic record time of 1:04.93 with compatriot Katie Meili taking bronze.
“Tonight has been so crazy,” King said. “My life is changing right now. I’m a gold medallist and it’s what I’ve always wanted to be.”
— smh.com.au (@smh) August 9, 2016
Sun Yang wins 200 free
China’s Sun Yang bounced back from Saturday’s loss to win the 200m freestyle gold, pipping South Africa’s Chad le Clos in a thrilling contest. Conor Dwyer claimed bronze for USA.
Sun was left in tears two days ago when beaten by Horton in the 400m freestyle final, a race that has been overshadowed by Horton’s “drug cheat” remarks about his Chinese rival. The two have had a frosty rivalry with Horton angry that Sun was competing despite serving a doping ban in secret in 2014.
Despite the victory, Sun wasn’t able to escape the derision of an unforgiving public, mocked for his clumsy attempt to throw his swimming cap into the crowd.
Men’s and women’s 100m backstroke
The other two gold medal races were the men’s and women’s 100m backstroke finals, the events which Aussies Mitch Larkin and Emily Seebohm – who happen to be dating each other – were favourites after winning gold in those events in Kazan at the world championships last year. But neither even got a medal, Larkin finishing fourth while Seebohm was seventh.
Instead, it was American Ryan Murphy triumphing for the men in a new Olympic record of 51.97 seconds. The 21-year-old from the University of California beat China’s Xu Jiayu (silver) and teammate David Plummer (bronze) to maintain the US stranglehold on the event – they’ve won six consecutive golds.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) August 9, 2016
Meanwhile in the women’s event, it was Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu finishing ahead of American Kathleen Baker, while there was a dead heat for bronze between Kylie Masse (Canada) and Fu Yuanhui (China).
Hosszu, 27, had failed to win a medal of any colour at her last three Olympics but already has two gold in Rio and could finish with five. If she does, she will go down as one of the greatest Hungarian athletes of all time.