Lilly King Settles Russian Feud, Wins Gold
She defeats Yulia Efimova
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 9, 2016 6:03 AM CDT
United States' gold medal winner Lilly King is flanked by Russia's silver medal winner Yulia Efimova, left, and United States' bronze medal winner Katie Meili after the 100-meter breaststroke final.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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(Newser) – This one will surely be seen as a victory for clean athletes over the dopers. No doubt that was Lilly King's take, reports the AP. The feisty American swimmer stared down Yulia Efimova, a rival at the center of Russia's doping scandal, and then beat her in the pool Monday night. King could hardly contain her satisfaction at capturing gold in the 100-meter breaststroke—especially given who was in the next lane. "It just proves you can compete clean and still come out on top with all the hard work you put in behind the scenes, behind the meet, at practice and weight sessions," said the 19-year-old Indiana University student. "There is a way to become the best and do it the right way."

Efimova arrived in Rio as one of the symbols of the massive Russian doping operation, an athlete who had already served a 16-month suspension and tested positive again this year for the now-banned substance meldonium. "I made mistakes and I was banned," she said afterward, per NPR. "The second time was not my mistake." King set an Olympic record of 1:04.93 with her victory, the first American gold in the event in 16 years. Efimova finished second and USA's Katie Meili took the bronze. King's victory came just after Ryan Murphy won gold for Team USA in the men's backstroke.