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Fourth-Place Medal

Dana Vollmer wins Olympic swimming gold for Team USA, sets world record

Photos: More images of Dana Vollmer

Dana Vollmer became the first U.S. female swimmer to strike gold in London, dominating the field in the 100 butterfly to finish in 55.98 and set a new world record in the sprint event.

It was the first individual Olympic gold for the 24-year-old from Syracuse. She previously won a relay gold in the 2004 Games in the 4x200 freestyle relay. One year earlier, she underwent surgery to correct an issue that caused her to have a rapid heartbeat.

[ Related: Benching Natalie Coughlin from the free relay was right move ]

Vollmer had a disastrous 2008 U.S. trials. She was favored to make the team in multiple events, but finished out of the medals in her four events. In the 50 and 100 freestyle events, she failed to qualify for the finals. The ease with which she won her only individual race at these Olympics is a testament to the mental strides she's made since that poor showing in Omaha.

Silver medalist Lu Ying of China finished nearly one full second behind.

Vollmer will also swim the 4x200 freestyle relay later in the Games.

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