Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): London Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Date Started: July 29, 2012
Date Finished: July 30, 2012
Rebecca Soni (USA) was the 2011 World Champion in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke, also won this event at the 2009 Worlds, and was a silver medalist at the 2008 Olympics. Although she was favored, in the preliminaries in London, the best time was posted by the unknown 15-year-old Lithuanian Rūta Meilutytė, who broke the European record with 1:05.21 in the semi-finals. This made her only the second swimming finalist ever for Lithuania.
The final got off to a rough start when the USA's Breeja Larson caused a stir by jumping into the pool before the start. But the official ruled that it was due to a faulty starting system in which the swimmers could not hear the "take your mark" command. She was allowed a re-start which would be a fair start. Meilutytė started the final at the same sort of pace, clear of the field at the wall, with Soni in fourth place. Soni did not make up ground until the last 15 metres when she surged and almost caught Meilutytė, but she came up short, the gold going to the young Lithuanian, with Soni getting silver. Japan's Satomi Suzuki won bronze, over a second back of the two leaders. Larson eventually placed sixth.
Meilutytė was only 15 years, 133 days old on the day of this win, which would make her the youngest swimming gold medalist in London, just younger than Katie Ledecky (USA), who had won the 800 free at 15-137. This also made Meilutytė the youngest ever Olympic gold medalist in the 100 breaststroke, and her win was the first medal ever won by Lithuania in swimming.
|2||Rebecca Soni||25||United States||USA||Silver|
|6||Breeja Larson||20||United States||USA|
|8||Rikke Møller Pedersen||23||Denmark||DEN|
|9||Tera van Beilen||19||Canada||CAN|
|11||Suzaan van Biljon||24||South Africa||RSA|
|21||Siobhan-Marie O'Connor||16||Great Britain||GBR|
|24||Petra Chocová||25||Czech Republic||CZE|
|28||Kate Haywood||25||Great Britain||GBR|
|33||Kim Hye-Jin||18||South Korea||KOR|
|36||Danielle Beaubrun||22||Saint Lucia||LCA|
|38||Chen I-Chuan||21||Chinese Taipei||TPE|
|41||Ivana Ninković||16||Bosnia and Herzegovina||BIH|