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SHANGHAI, China, July 25. WHILE many in the swimming community were hoping for a world record, USA's Dana Vollmer was content with just grabbing the women's 100 fly world title at the FINA World Long Course Championships in Shanghai.
Vollmer, who clocked an American and textile-best effort of 56.47 during semifinals, had enough in the tank to capture the gold medal with a 56.87. That swim is the 19th fastest of all time, and gave the U.S. its first world title in the event since Jenny Thompson won in 1998. It is Vollmer's first individual world title, adding to her relay title in the 800 free relay from 2007. The swim was, however, short of Sarah Sjostrom's world record of 56.06 from the techsuit era.
"I feel so excited, I feel absolutely awesome," Vollmer said. "I feel great, the arena is fantastic. I love being here, love representing the USA. Butterfly is my favorite especially 100 meters butterfly. Since I was young, we have done a lot of different things, like dance classes and other things. I think it's the combination that attracts me to the sport and perfects me in the water."
Australia's Alicia Coutts checked in with a silver medal in 56.94 to give the Aussies a third consecutive silver medal in the event behind Jessicah Schipper's silvers in 2007 and 2009. China's Lu Ying snatched bronze in 57.06, to defend China's bronze in the event. Jiao Liuyang earned third-place honors in 2009 for the Chinese.
"The key to my good result is an advanced training regimen and my coach's help," Lu said. "Though this is my first world championships, I didn't feel much pressure. I told myself just to try my best. Before the world championships, I aimed for a top eight finish, so I am pretty happy with the third place."
Defending champion Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden settled for fourth with a 57.38, while Great Britain's Ellen Gandy (57.55), China's Liu Zige (57.57), Schipper (57.95) and Great Britain's Jemma Lowe (57.96) completed the championship field.