Lilly King backed up her trash talk with a record-setting swim.
The American who verbally sparred with Russian Yulia Efimova during the preliminaries of the 100-meter breast stroke surged to victory in the final on Monday night.
The intensity was first apparent during the preliminary race, when King saw Efimova put her finger up with a "No. 1" sign after winning her heat. King waved her finger at the television while seeing it, Mutombo-style, and then called Efimova a drug cheat. King was critical of Efimova being allowed to compete in the Rio Games after serving a 16-month suspension for doping and testing positive again this year for the now-banned substance meldonium. Possible sanctions over a second violation were put on hold while WADA does more research on the drug.
Lilly King to Yulia Efimova right now https://t.co/evgemyXu9J
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 9, 2016
That set up a showdown on Monday night. As the two stood backstage waiting to be introduced, Efimova had her goggles on and looked straight ahead, never acknowledging King, who was standing inches behind her.
King swayed back and forth like a boxer, staring daggers into the back of Efimova's head. A cocky smile cracked the corner of her mouth as she stepped to the block, and she won with an Olympic record time of 1 minute, 4.93 seconds.
AP Photo/Michael Sohn