Swimming: Lithuanian teen Meilutyte sets world c'ship record in women's 100m breast

BARCELONA (REUTERS) - Lithuania's teenage Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte set a European and world championship record in qualifying for the women's 100m breaststroke on Monday as she chases a first world swimming gold for the Baltic nation.

Swimming in the final heat alongside Jessica Hardy of the United States at Barcelona's hilltop Palau Sant Jordi, Meilutyte was just 0.07sec outside Hardy's 2009 world record of 1min 4.45sec with a time of 1:04.52.

The 16-year-old, who trains in England, beat American Rebecca Soni's world championship record of 1:04.84 set at the 2009 edition in Rome and will have a chance to improve on her time in the semi-finals later on Monday and Tuesday's final.

Hardy was second-quickest in 1:05.18, with Russia's Yuliya Efimova third in 1:05.24 followed by Rikke Moller Pedersen of Denmark in 1:06.30.