Swimming

King becomes queen, buries hatchet with Efimova

Lilly King broke the women's 50m breaststroke world record in seeing off rival Yuliya Efimova on Sunday, with the Russian insisting the war of words between the pair is now over.

King clocked 29.40 seconds in Sunday's 50m final at the Fina World Championships, breaking the four-year-old record, with Efimova taking silver at 0.17 back.

This was the second world record the 20-year-old King has broken in Budapest after also lowering Ruta Meilutyte's time for the 100m breaststroke in winning last Tuesday's final.

The victory was King's second of the week over Efimova, who took bronze in the 100m final but had beaten the American over 200m last Friday when King finished fourth.

King had sparked a war of words at last year's Rio Olympics when she branded the Russian a drug cheat after Efimova's 16-month ban for doping, which ended in February 2015.

The Russian responded by saying King had turned Olympic swimming into war, but Efimova insisted peace has broken out between the pair.

"What happened before, in another competition, it doesn't matter now," said Efimova.

"I'm really happy and today she (King) told me she loves to race with me, because it makes her race faster too and it makes it more interesting to watch."

Efimova, 25, was blunt about her doping past after being caught taking a hormone steroid which led to the 16-month ban.

She said: "Sometimes, people make mistakes, it's an old question, like when you're driving and you're speeding just a little bit high."

She admitted she is "not best friends, but good friends" with King, who was quick to clarify that their relationship has improved from Rio. Said King: "We have definitely been a lot more civil than we were last year, so I'm enjoying that." - AFP

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