|Vollmer just set a new barrier for women's 100-meter butterfly. (US Presswire)|
You might not have seen it yet, but the U.S. just earned perhaps its most impressive gold medal of the Games thus far.
Dana Vollmer, the favorite in the 100-meter women's butterfly, swam up to expectations, to say the least. She took the gold in the event Sunday afternoon -- and took down a world record while doing it. Vollmer touched in 55.98 seconds, becoming the first woman to break the 56-second mark in history.
Vollmer beat out Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom's record, which was set in 2009 with a time of 56.06. Sjostrom took fourth in Sunday's fly final, finishing behind Lu Ying of China (56.87) and Alicia Coutts of Australia (56.94).
It wasn't so long ago that a woman breaking the one-minute in the 100 fly was considered a massive accomplishment.
The world record is especially impressive considering these Games are abiding by the new swimsuit mandates. In Beijing, most every swimmer was wearing a technologically enhanced swim suit that shredded times left and right. Now? Swimming records -- Olympic and world -- are very hard to come by. It makes Vollmer's accomplishment all the more noteworthy in this new age of competitive swimming.
It's quite a comeback for Vollmer, too; she failed to qualify for the '08 Games. And when you consider how seriously swimmers take their apparel and body hair before a race, Vollmer charging to victory despite losing her swim cap in the final stretch is spectacular.
Vollmer's race will be able to watched on tape delay on NBC Sunday night.