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Meilutyte Makes Her Mark On Medley

Feb 26, 2013  - Craig Lord

News Round-Up:

Lithuania/Britain: Plymouth-based Ruta Meilutyte, Olympic 100m breaststroke champion, sped under the radar at British University Championships in Sheffield last weekend when she shattered her national 200m medley record by eight seconds with a 2:13.69 heats swim. As a guest, she was ineligible to race in finals, the same applying to Sophie Smith, who clocked 2:14.44 in heats next to Meilutyte. The Lithuanian had a best of 2:21.57 in 2011, while the national record had stood at 2:21.52 to Vaiva Gimbutyte since last year. The 15-year-old Olympic champion is a student at Plymouth College and coached by Jon Rudd at Plymouth Leander. Rudd told a local newspaper: "She broke the senior Lithuanian record for the event by eight seconds in a time which would have been good enough to get her into the semi-finals at the Olympics." 

USA: A team of American swimmers, including Olympic 100m freestyle champion Nathan Adrian and former Olympic champions Anthony Ervin and Natalie Coughlin are Europe bound. They will train in Marseilles, host to the 2nd Meeting Open de la Mediterranée on March 1-3, while Ervin and Coughlin will race at the British Gas Open in Leeds next week. Adrian will bypass the British meet.

Germany: Helge Meeuw retires

USA: A former vice-president at USA Swimming says the federation's new screening procedures failed to detect a coach with multiple identities and a felony conviction. Mike Saltzstein filed a complaint Monday about a person known as James Pantera, who began working at San Diego Imperial Swimming last year, reports Paul Newberry at AP. Saltzstein says the man has at least 11 names and three dates of birth, and that he was sentenced to a year in federal prison for making false statements and fraudulently obtaining student loans. Saltzstein questions whether USA Swimming's new screening policies are doing enough to protect swimmers in the wake of numerous sexual abuse cases that have led to a spate of suspensions in recent years. USA Swimming told AP that all members must be diligent about athlete safety and it will "carefully look into the matter".