Lilly King wins gold in 100 breaststroke

She did it.

Lilly King, a sophomore at Indiana, won gold for the United States in the women’s 100 breaststroke final at the Rio Olympics on Monday night, swimming past Russian rival Yulia Efimova in a race that captured the attention of the country.

King, an Evansville native, touched the wall first with an Olympic record time of 1:04.93, besting Efimova, who took silver in 1:05.50. Katie Meili, a fellow American, secured bronze with a time of 1:05.69.

The buildup to the race bordered on international conflict with King vocal in her criticism of Efimova, who was previously banned from the Olympics for doping. Efimova was quietly reinstated last week.

“We can still compete clean and do well at the Olympic games,” King told NBC after the win on Monday. “That’s how it should be.”

Prior to Sunday’s semifinal heat, NBC cameras captured King wagging her finger at a television that showed Efimova raising her index finger to signal her win in the first breaststroke semifinal.

King backed up the gesture 24 hours later.

She is the first Hoosier woman to medal in an individual Olympic swimming event in program history. She’s also the first IU swimmer since Jim Montgomery in 1976 to win gold in an individual event.

Indiana’s swimming and diving program has now produced 64 medals in Olympic history, including 37 gold and 18 bronze.

King’s Olympic stay is not yet over. She’ll also compete in the 200 breaststroke and the 4×100 medley relay later this week.


  1. What a great swim! Lily is the real deal! IU Swimming and Diving is working it’s way back to the top. But it is a very hard climb: Cal, Stanford, USC and AZ out west; TX, and the SEC group of Auburn, GA, FL; not to mention the B1G teams MI, MN. Doc should be proud!

  2. Move ov-UH, Efimova!
    You may know how to needle….
    You may be quite pretty…
    But compared to Hoosier Lilly
    Your breaststroke simply sch….nitzely.

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