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Dana Vollmer wins gold, sets new standard and world record for 100-meter fly

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer
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.

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