Shots have been fired in Rio! U.S. Swimmer Lilly King had no problem calling out Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova for being a ‘drug cheat’ after taking the top spot in the 100m breaststroke preliminaries at the 2016 Olympics. Watch a video of Lilly shading Yulia right here!
Initially not allowed to compete after being linked to a report that indicated she was involved in systematic government-backed doping, Yulia, 24, appealed the ban and was allowed to swim at the last minute. Not surprisingly, this had Lilly irked — but before ripping on Yulia for cheating, the 19-year-old Evansville, Indiana, native swam an impressive 1:05.70 in the 100m breaststroke, 2/10 of a second faster than Yulia’s first place time of 1:05.72 from the Aug. 6 semifinals. To rub it in even more, Lilly totally bashed her rival!
“You wave your finger ‘No1’ and you’ve been caught drug cheating…I’m not a fan,” Lilly told NBC in a post-race interview. But the slams didn’t stop there!
In addition to the heated words Lilly said about Yulia, she was spotted wagging her finger at her opponent in a “You can’t do that” manner, an action which Yulia seemed to mock after winning her semifinal heat by raising her finger high above the water. That didn’t scare away Lilly, because she did the finger wave once more after that — right to Yulia’s face!
US swimmer Lily King gives Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova the Mutombo finger wave pic.twitter.com/YMBrgp2Mw9
— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD_) August 8, 2016
Lilly explained that her initial finger wave wasn’t intended to start anything, but the action is just kind of how she is. Now that Yulia and Lilly are both in the finals, though, it seems Lilly isn’t afraid if this rivalry turns completely sour — in fact, it might help her get the gold!
“People probably think I am serving it up a little bit but that is just how I am,” Lilly said. “That’s just my personality. I’m not this sweet little girl, that’s not who I am. If I do need to stir it up to put a little fire under my butt or anybody else then that’s what I’m going to do.”
It won’t be long before this feud is seemingly settled, either. The girls face off in the women’s 100m breaststroke finals at 9:54 p.m. ET on Aug. 8, and they’ll both be swimming with quite a vengeance. It will definitely be interesting to see who’s going to get the last word (or finger wag) in!
HollywoodLifers, do you agree with Lilly’s stance on Yulia’s cheating? Who do you want to win the 100m breaststroke? Tell us below!