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Lilly King Caps Three-Win Weekend With Series-Record Time In 50 Breaststroke

By Paul D. Bowker | June 10, 2018, 11:55 p.m. (ET)

Lilly King races in the women's 200-meter breaststroke preliminary rounds at the TYR Pro Swim Series on May 17, 2018 in Indianapolis.


Lilly King punched the water with celebratory splashes as soon as she hit the wall Sunday.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist not only won the women’s 50-meter breaststroke on the final day of the TYR Pro Swim Series meet in Santa Clara, California, but she did it in record time.

It was that kind of a week for King.

She won the 100 breaststroke on Saturday with the fastest time in the world this year (1:05.61). In Sunday’s knockout format of three races in the 50 breast, she won the final in a Pro Swim Series-record time of 29.62 seconds.

King also won the 200 breaststroke on Friday, beginning a sweep of the breaststroke races.

The final day of competition at the George F. Haines International Swim Center also featured the completion of triple wins for both six-time Olympic medalist Katie Ledecky and 2020 Olympic hopeful Zane Grothe.

Ledecky, the reigning Olympic and world champion in the 400-meter freestyle, cruised to a victory in the event Sunday. The two-time Olympian won in 4:00.51.

She also won the 200 freestyle and 800 free this week. She did not compete in the 1,500. The only race Ledecky didn’t win was the 100 on Saturday, in which she finished fifth in a race won by four-time Olympic medalist Simone Manuel.

Following his wins in the men’s 1,500 freestyle on Thursday and 800 free on Saturday, Grothe won the 400 free in a time of 3:50.53. Grothe, a bronze medalist in the 4x200 freestyle at the 2017 world championships, finished strong, passing leader Jack LeVant in the final leg for the victory.

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Sunday’s final night of action featured a series of the popular knockout format in the 50-meter races.

Jack Conger, a relay gold medalist at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, won all three knockout heats on the way to a win in the men’s 50-meter butterfly. His winning time was 23.67 seconds, 0.30 off his season's best.

Manuel won the 50 free final in a time of 24.67 seconds, beating two-time Olympic medalist Abbey Weitzeil by three-hundreds of a second.

Other winners in the 50-meter knockouts included Olivia Smoliga in women's backstroke, Nic Fink in men’s breaststroke, Penny Oleksiak of Canada in women's freestyle and her teammate Markus Thormeyer in both the men's backstroke and freestyle.

Sarah Darcel of Canada and Hiromasa Fujimori of Japan won the 200 mystery individual medley finals.

The final TYR Pro Swim Series meet of the year is July 6-8 in Columbus, Ohio. That will be the final major competition prior to the Phillips 66 National Championship July 25-29 in Irvine, California.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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