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2ND LEAD King delivers popular victory, denying Efimova gold By Derek Wilson, dpa

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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - American Lilly King produced one of the most popular victories at Rio 2016 on Monday by winning gold in the women‘s 100-metre breaststroke, denying twice-banned Russian Yulia Efimova in the process.

Efimova was booed upon being introduced to the crowd and when 19-year-old King touched the wall to win in an Olympic record time of 1 minute 4.93 seconds she was given a rapturous reception.

Efimova was 0.57 seconds behind while bronze went to another American, Katie Meili.

"It was so incredible winning a gold medal ... and knowing I did it clean," King said, continuing to rally against Efimova over doping after speaking out in the earlier rounds.

"My life is changing right now," she said. "I‘m a gold medallist and it‘s what I‘ve always wanted to be and it‘s an incredible feeling."

Hungary‘s "Iron Lady" Katinka Hosszu claimed her second gold of the Games in the 100-metre backstroke in 58.45 seconds to add to the 400m individual medley crown she won previously. She returned to the pool later to qualify for the final of the 200m medley.

China‘s Sun Yang, who served a three-month ban for testing positive for trimetazidine in 2014, trailed throughout the men‘s 200m freestyle but won after delivering a strong final 50 metres. It is his third Olympic gold after winning the 400m and 1,500m freestyle in London in 2012.

In the other final of the evening, Ryan Murphy gave the United States a sixth consecutive win in the men‘s 100-metre backstroke.

Efimova‘s participation in the Games was confirmed at the last minute when the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled the International Olympic Committee could not keep her out of competition due to previous doping offences.

She is widely seen as the face of the Russian doping scandal and other swimmers had previously spoken out against her being in Rio.

King celebrated with enthusiastic splashing, having held off Efimova‘s challenge, before hugging bronze medallist Meili. Neither shook hands with Efimova immediately after the race.

"If I‘d been in Yulia‘s position I‘d not want to be congratulated by someone not speaking highly of me," King said. She apologized if she had misunderstood the situation but there was no public reconciliation between the pair upon leaving the post-race press conference.

"A week ago, I didn‘t even know if I could race because I‘m Russian," Efimova said. "I‘m just happy to be here."

The Russian added she understood the American‘s attitude towards her but said they did not know the facts.

Hosszu did not look to be an immediate winner in her backstroke final as Australian world champion Emily Seebohm swam the first 50 metres nearly half a second under world record pace.

That tempo proved too much for Seebohm and Hosszu stormed through to win three-tenths of a second ahead of US teenager Kathleen Baker. Bronze was shared between Canadian Kylie Masse and China‘s Fu Yuan Hui, who were both just 1 hundredth further adrift, with Seebohm finishing seventh.

"I was relaxed," Hosszu said. "I‘ve trained hard for four years so I could come to Rio and feel it‘s second nature."

While Hosszu was immediately cheered upon winning, Sun emerged from the pool after his 1:44.65 minute victory to a more subdued reception. He won ahead of South Africa‘s Chad le Clos (1:45.20) and American Conor Dwyer (1.45.23).

Le Clos, 2012 Olympic butterfly champion in the 200m, had gone out more than eight-tenths under world record pace and had clear water in front by 75 metres. However, Sun timed his attack perfectly and overtook in the last 50m.

Murphy also produced an Olympic record of 51.97, just a fraction off the world record, to win the men‘s 100-metre backstroke from China‘s Xu Jiayu. Xu took silver in 52.31, with bronze going to another US swimmer, David Plummer, in 52.40.

"The adrenaline is going so hard for me right now, I don‘t even feel tired just because I‘m so excited," Murphy said. "This means everything to me. I‘ve been swimming for 16 years and to have it come to this is just a dream come true."

Similar to his compatriot Seebohm‘s race, Australian world champion Mitch Larkin went out under world record tempo but he too faded out of the medals, finishing fourth.

US heroes Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps, who were given a rousing welcome, returned to semi-final action 24 hours after winning their first gold medals of the Games.

Ledecky was knocked back to second place by Sweden‘s Sarah Sjostrom in the women‘s 200m freestyle, while Phelps qualified second in the men‘s 200m butterfly behind Hungary‘s Tamas Kenderesi.

Hosszu then returned to the pool less than an hour after her backstroke gold to qualify second in the women‘s 200m medley behind Britain‘s Siobhan-Marie O‘Connor.



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(26.05.2019 07:37)

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