Lilly King Finishes 7th in 50m Breaststroke at 2022 World Swimming Championships

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 25, 2022

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JUNE 24: Lilly King of Team United States reacts after competing in the Women's 50m Breaststroke Heats on day seven of the Budapest 2022 FINA World Championships at Duna Arena on June 24, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Team USA's Lilly King failed to medal in the 50-meter women's breaststroke event at the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Saturday.

Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte took gold with a time of 29.70 seconds, while King finished in 30.40 seconds, settling for seventh place.

Here is a full rundown of the finishing order from Saturday's final with Meilutyte, Italy's Benedetta Pilato and South Africa's Lara van Niekerk occupying the top three spots on the podium:

1. Ruta Meilutyte: 29.70

2. Benedetta Pilato: 29.80

3. Lara van Niekerk: 29.90

4. Qianting Tang: 30.21

5. Anna Elendt: 30.22

6. Eneli Jefimova: 30.25

7. Lilly King: 30.40

8. Jhennifer Conceicao: 30.45

The 50-meter breaststroke marked the second time in four races at the 2022 world championships that King finished off the podium, as she previously finished fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke.

King isn't leaving Budapest empty-handed, however, as she won gold in both the 200-meter breaststroke and 4x100-meter women's medley relay events.

The 25-year-old King has won three individual Olympic medals in breaststroke and five individual world championship medals.

That included gold in the 50-meter at both the 2017 and 2019 world championships, setting a world championship record in the event at the 2017 worlds with a time of 29.40 seconds.

King has become better at longer distances in recent years, winning silver in the 200-meter at the 2020 Olympics and bronze in the 100-meter but not medaling in the 50-meter.

That was true again in these world championships, as she won gold in the 200, but did not win a medal in either the 50 or the 100.

While Saturday's race was a disappointment for King, it represented a special moment for the 25-year-old Meilutyte, who has missed significant time since the 2013 world championship due to injuries and a two-year doping suspension.

The Lithuanian star won gold in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2012 London Olympics at just 15 years of age and followed it up with gold in the 100-meter and silver in the 50-meter at the 2013 worlds.

Meilutyte took bronze in the 100-meter earlier at the 2022 world championships, meaning she will depart Budapest with two medals in tow.

Meanwhile, the 17-year-old Pilato won her second medal at the 2022 world championships after taking gold in the 100-meter breaststroke, and the 19-year-old Van Niekerk won the first world championship medal of her career.