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Lilly King wins 100 breaststroke

Lilly King wins 100 breaststroke

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INDIANAPOLIS – Since the Olympic Games first awarded medals in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1968, no woman has won two gold medals.

Lilly King still has a chance to be first.

King, the former Indiana University swimmer from Evansville, made a third Olympic team Monday night in her signature event in the U.S. Trials at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Lilly King’s last ride: Star swimmer says Indy will be her last Olympic trials

She won in 1:05.43, beating surprise runner-up Emma Weber in 1:06.10. Lydia Jacoby, who beat King to win gold at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, finished third in 1:06.37 – and away.

The top two qualify for the Paris Olympics, plus six (usually) in the 100 and 200 freestyle relays.

It was a great night for coach Ray Looze’s IU swimming program.

Blake Pieroni, sixth, and Anna Peplowski, fifth, also qualified for Paris from the 200 free finals.

IU was without a U.S. Olympic swimmer from 1976 until 2016, when King, Pieroni and Cody Miller all made the team for Rio de Janeiro.

King famously won a showdown against Russian rival Yulia Efimova in Rio and then finished with bronze at Tokyo 2021 behind American teammate Lydia Jacoby.

At a press conference Friday, the 27-year-old King announced that she would not stick around for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

“I’m going to watch in Los Angeles, and I’m happy with that decision,” she said. “I’m not done after this summer, but I won’t continue for another four years either. I’m going to cheer on the team.”

She will also attempt to compete in the 200 breaststroke, with the heats and semi-finals taking place on Wednesday and the final on Thursday evening.

King has not won a global gold medal in the 100 breaststroke since the 2019 World Championships. After finishing third in Tokyo, she finished fourth at the 2022 and 2023 World Championships. Since the 2017 World Championships, she has held the world record of 1:04.13.

Tang Quianting challenged that world record at the Chinese Championships, clocking 1:04.39 on April 21.

Contact IndyStar correspondent David Woods at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidWoods007.