Rob Schumacher, USA Today

King's gold medal swim makes final statement

Lilly King made her final statement in the pool tonight in Rio, earning Indiana's first individual swimming gold in 40 years.

The day after making some strong statements about Russian Yulia Efimova's history with doping, Lilly King made her final statement in the pool. The Evansville native and Indiana University sophomore went a personal best and Olympic record 1:04.93, earning the gold medal in the women's 100 meter breaststroke.

“It just proves you can complete clean and still come out on top with all the hard work you put in behind the scenes, behind the meet, at practice and in weight sessions and there is a way to become the best and do it the right way," King said after the race.

Efimova finished second, more than a half second back at 1:05.50. American Katie Meili earned a bronze medal with a 1:05.69.

"We didn’t really talk about it except right before we walked into the ready room and we kind of looked at each other and we both said, ‘You know what we can both medal," Meili said. "It was nothing more than just both of us showing that the USA is strong and we came here to compete and we came here to win medals and regardless of all the other circumstances that’s what are here to do." 

King's medal is the first individual gold for an IU swimmer or alum since Jim Montgomery won the 100 meter freestyle at the Montreal Olympics in 1976.

A fast start for King earned her an early lead on the field and she used a big finish to outdistance Efimova and Meili after the pair caught her with about 25 meters remaining. 

King's prior best time was 1:05.20 from the U.S. Olympic Trials. Her 30.22 first 50 meters was nearly a half second faster than she took out the event in the preliminary heats and semifinals yesterday.

This is the third medal and second gold for Indiana University swimmers in Rio. Cody Miller earned a bronze in yesterday's 100 meter breaststroke for men and Blake Pieroni got a gold medal as an alternate as part of the winning 4 X 100 meter freestyle relay for Team USA.

King returns to compete on Wednesday in the preliminary heats of the 200 meter breaststroke. Both King and Miller will also compete later this week for Team USA in the 4 X 100 medley relay.

All time, Indiana University now has 94 Olympic medals (52 gold, 15 silver, 27 bronze).. Sixty-four of those Olympic medals have come in swimming and diving.

RELATED: Rio Olympics: IU Athlete Daily Schedule

Watch the women's 100 meter breaststroke final here: NBC Sports Top Stories