LONDON — She wanted an individual world record and an individual gold medal.
Dana Vollmer didn’t even need 56 seconds to accomplished both feats.
The former University of California swimmer and reigning world champion had the Aquatics Centre buzzing when she became the first woman to break the 56-second barrier, winning gold in the 100-meter butterfly in 55.98 seconds, a world record.
“I had the time in my mind and I kept being so close,” said the 24-year-old Vollmer. “In the race, I was so excited and felt so good. It was awesome to look up and see that I got it.”
It was the second world record in the first two days of this Olympic swimming competition.
Ying Lu of China was second (56.87) and Alicia Coutts of Australia took the bronze (56.94). Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, who had set the world record of 56.06 in 2009, finished fourth.
It was a sensational final 50 meters for Vollmer, who was third at the turn. She previously won a gold in the 800 relay at the 2004 Olympics.
It was the first gold medal in swimming for the American women, who won an individual silver and a relay bronze on Day 1.
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