Records fall in pool
Cameron van der Burgh and Dana Vollmer broke world records in claiming Olympic swimming titles on Sunday.
Last Updated: 29/07/12 11:05pm
South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh and Dana Vollmer of the USA both broke world records in claiming Olympic swimming titles in the Aquatics Centre on Sunday night.
Great Britain's Ellen Gandy was eighth as Vollmer won the 100 metres butterfly final in a time of 55.98 seconds.
For Melbourne-based Gandy it was her first Olympic final and there was little expectation that she would challenge for medals with the 200m her favoured event.
The American had been favourite coming in to the final having set an Olympic record yesterday a year after being crowned world champion in Shanghai.
Vollmer took 0.08secs off Sarah Sjostrom's 2009 world record as she added the Olympic title to the gold she won in Athens in 2004 as a 16-year-old member of the triumphant 4x200m freestyle squad.
Lu Ying of China was second in 56.87secs with Australia's Alicia Coutts third 0.07 adrift.
Gandy touched in 57.76 with just 0.59 separating fourth to eighth and the former Beckenham swimmer said: "It was great to be part of an historic race and the crowd was amazing.
"I was the first swimmer out and it was so loud. You can also hear them on the second 50 which is unusual.
"I would have liked to swim faster but I was pleased to make the final and I still have my main event to come."
Vollmer's world record was the second of the meet after Ye Shiwen lowered the 400m individual medley on Saturday night with a final 50m quicker than Ryan Lochte, winner of the men's equivalent.
It means the spectre of the performance-enhancing suits, and the subsequent chaos, is starting to be exorcised now the sport is again about the swimmer.
Vollmer said: "Oh my God, I am so excited right now. I didn't feel so good in the last 50 (metres). My second (swimming) cap came off, I haven't had that happen before.
"I had kind of a bad finish and that was the thing I was focusing on. I was just trying to get my hand on the wall."
Later on the same night, van der Burgh claiming the 100m breaststroke title in a time of 58.46 seconds.
The 24-year-old had qualified fastest for the final on Saturday night with the best time in the world in 2012 and an Olympic record.
And on Sunday night he led from start to finish to take 0.12secs off Brenton Rickard's 2009 record.
Christian Sprenger was second and Brendan Hansen third.
Notable by his absence, though, was Alexander Dale Oen, the Norwegian world champion who died in April.
Meanwhile France overhauled the United States at the death to claim the 4x100 metres freestyle relay title.
The United States had led from the start and appeared to be on course for gold but Yannick Agnel inched ahead of Ryan Lochte in the final 10 metres to claim the title in three minutes 09.83 seconds.
It meant Michael Phelps won his first medal of the 2012 Olympics and his 17th overall but it was the French who were celebrating as they exorcised the memory of 2008 when they lost out on the touch to the Americans.