Worn out from her gold medal performance the night before, Yuliya Efimova slept late, missed her warm-up — and still swam a world record.
In morning prelims.
“I still don’t understand it,” the Russian said after breaking the mark in the 50m breaststroke. “Yesterday I was ready for a world record. But today, I didn’t sleep half the night and I am so tired. I didn’t do the warm-up and I am so sleepy — and I just swam a record. It’s crazy.”
Efimova clocked 29.78 seconds in the one-lap race, shaving 0.02 off the previous record set by American Jessica Hardy in 2009 at the height of the rubberized suit era.
Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte, who came third, said she treated the 50 lightly, as it’s not an Olympic event.
“I always like to swim the 200 but actually I am a short sprinter, and for me it’s like my birthday,” she said. “It’s like my holidays ... It’s always fun.”
That was until the second semifinal later in the day, during which Meilutyte shaved 0.3 of a second off Efimova’s record that lasted only a few hours.