Soni delivers with a silver
USC alumna Rebecca Soni, a silver medalist in the 100-meter breaststroke in 2008, repeated that performance on July 30, finishing second in the event by 0.08 seconds to a 15-year-old from Lithuania during the third day of the 2012 London Olympics.
Soni, the defending champion in the 200-meter breaststroke but among the favorites for gold in the 100-meter breast, finished in 1:05.55. In fourth halfway through the race, Soni charged over the final 50 meters but fell just short of touching the wall first as Ruta Meilutyte stopped the clock a moment sooner at 1:05.47.
Japan’s Satomi Suzuki won bronze in 1:06.46. The defending Olympic champion, Leisel Jones, placed fifth while American Breeja Larson, who bested Soni at the Olympic Trials in the race, placed sixth.
The medal is Soni’s fourth of her career. She took home the gold in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2008 and has since grown into the most dominant female breaststroke swimmer in the world. She will swim in the prelims of the 200-meter breast on Wednesday and will almost certainly compete in the 400-meter medley relay later in the week. The prelims for the relay are Friday, though she may swim in only the final on Saturday.
Soni’s former teammate at USC, Katinka Hosszu from Hungary, also swam Monday night in London and qualified for her second final of the Olympics by finishing fifth in the semifinals of the 200-meter individual medley.
Junior Stina Gardell, a teammate of Hosszu’s the past two years, was 20th in prelims of the 200-meter individual medley in 2:14.70.
On July 31, Hosszu will compete in the prelims and most likely the semifinals of the 200-meter butterfly and then the final of the 200-meter individual medley.