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Published: 31 july 2012 08:24

Rūta Meilutytė: I was praying not to fall down during awards ceremony

Rūta Meilutytė
AFP/„Scanpix“ nuotr. / Rūta Meilutytė

During the Olympic awards ceremony on Monday, swimmer Rūta Meilutytė, women's 100 meters breaststroke gold medalist, could not hold back her tears. The 15-year-old became a star overnight by winning Lithuania's first medal at London Olympics.

While receiving the award, Meilutytė could hardly contain her emotions, but soon afterwards composed herself and was answering reporters' question.

- Do you realize what you've done?

- Not yet. I don't know, all emotions simply came together. My legs were shaking, I was praying that I don't fall down.

- Whom would you like to thank most after your victory?

- My family, friends, coaches.

- When you were swimming, did you feel that Rebbeca Soni was right behind you?

- I did see her. But I tried not to look at anyone.

- Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė was in the audience. She stayed in London because of your competition. What does it mean for you?

- It's an incredible honour that she came and watched me compete. I'm glad that she takes interest, since swimming is not the most popular sport in Lithuania. I hope it will be more popular after this.

- Do you know what prize you are getting for your victory?

- No.

- 400 thousand litas.

- It is possible.

- What are you going to spend it on?

- I won't spend it.

- What would you like to tell your fans who greeted you?

- I'd like to thank them for continual support and belief in me.

- Did the final competition go according to your plans?

- Yes. Sure, there are always some small mistakes. But I'll watch the footage and try to correct them. I think, everything was going well for me.

- What were your thoughts after you finished the race?

- Nothing. Great many random thoughts in my head.

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