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Dana Vollmer sets world record

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Dana Vollmer sets world record

LONDON -- Dana Vollmer won a gold medal at the Olympics and set a world record, too.

Not bad for someone who didn't even qualify four years ago.

On a night featuring a relay duel between the Australians and the Americans, Vollmer got things started with a bang Sunday in the 100-meter butterfly. She was third at the turn but powered to the wall for a time of 55.98 seconds, beating the record of 56.06 set by Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom in a since-banned high-tech bodysuit at the 2009 world championships.

Dana Vollmer celebrates after setting a new world record with a 55.98-second gold medal run in the 100-meter butterfly.
The American dropped back her head when she saw the time, then broke into a huge smile, slapped the water and pumped her fists.

"I'm on top of the world right now." she said. "I still know I can go faster."

Vollmer, who made the Olympics as a 16-year-old in 2004, was a huge disappointment when she failed to make the team in Beijing in 2008. She was slowed by injuries and health problems, making her question whether she even wanted to continue swimming.

But her injuries healed and a change in diet gave her a new outlook. She came close to breaking Sjostrom's record at the U.S. Olympic trials last month, and set an Olympic record in the semifinals to come in as the top qualifier.

Now she's an Olympic champion.

"I kept telling myself that my strength is my second 50," Vollmer said. "I kept really calm."

Lu Ying gave China another medal at the Olympic Aquatics Centre, taking silver in 56.87 seconds. Australia's Alicia Coutts grabbed the bronze in 56.94.

"It's not bad," Lu said. "It's the result, more or less, I hoped for."

It was a tough night for Sjostrom. Not only did she lose her world record, she didn't even get a medal, touching fourth in 57.17.

Vollmer was the second swimmer to set a world record at the London Games, and only the fourth to break a mark set during the rubberized suit era. Those suits were banned after an astonishing 43 world records were set at the 2009 world championships.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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NBA Draft prospect De'Andre Hunter is ready to make his family proud at the next level

NBA Draft prospect De'Andre Hunter is ready to make his family proud at the next level

When asked if his family had a motto, De'Andre Hunter summed it up in two words: "Family first."

"We have a great bond, we're really close and we all get along. I feel like that really helped me in the long run," the 2019 NBA Draft prospect told NBC Sports Washington for its miniseries I Am The Prospect. "We know we have each other's back, we always put each other before anyone else."

The Hunter family has always had De'Andre's back, supporting him from the days during his childhood when he'd wake them up early in the morning to play basketball, to the night he helped Virginia win its first NCAA title.

Things weren't always easy in the Hunter household. De'Andre's father, Aaron Hunter Sr., died when De'Andre was 7, forcing the entire family, especially his mother Priscilla, to take on more responsibility and bond together. 

"My mom is the rock of the family. She does anything for every single one of us. No matter where she is or what she's doing, she's willing to help us in any kind of way," Hunter said. "And as far as my brother and sisters, they're the same way. They're really caring, and we ... really look after each other. 

"In a family that's what you need, and we just always support each other, no matter what the circumstance is."

And as he grew up, De'Andre's older brother Aaron Jr. took on a more paternal role. 

"Once my father passed away, he really stepped up," De'Andre said of Aaron. "He really taught me a lot of things that he went through. I didn't see him grow up, but I saw him become, I feel like, a man in some sense. Because he had to take care of our family in a certain way.

"He cares for me a lot, so I thank him a lot for everything he's taught me."

In fact, it was Aaron who De'Andre called upon when he got the disappointing news he would be redshirted his first year at UVA and thus ineligible to play that season.  

"The decision to redshirt really hurt," Hunter said. "I didn't see it coming, but when coach (Tony Bennett) told me, I just took it."

"I told my brother, I probably complained to him a little bit but he just told me to use it in a beneficial way and don’t look at it in a negative way. I tried to do that, and I feel like in the long run it definitely helped me.

Over those next two seasons in Charlottesville, Hunter became a bonafide college star. He won the ACC's Sixth Man of the Year award during the 2017-18 season then earned the conference's Defensive Player of the Year award in 2018-19, not to mention leading the Cavaliers to a national championship, scoring a team-high 27 points in the title game against Texas Tech.

Hunter recalled how special it was having his family in the arena that night to celebrate with him. 

"It meant a lot for them to come all the way out to Minnesota to watch me play," he said. "They took off from work, took off from things they probably had to do, just to come see me play. That means a lot to me because they really don't have to do that. But they were there for me." 

Now, Hunter is preparing to take the next step into the NBA ranks. And when his name's called Thursday night at the draft, his family will be there cheering -- and probably crying -- for him. 

"Draft night's gonna be really emotional. I don't know if I'm gonna cry or not, but I know a few members of my family will be crying, so that'll probably get to me a little bit," Hunter said with a smile. "It's gonna be a great moment for not only me but for my family as well."

"My mom's for sure gonna cry. My sisters might even cry, but I feel like Aaron might let a few tears out."

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram ranked No. 2 in NFL for 'best rushing tandems'

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram ranked No. 2 in NFL for 'best rushing tandems'

Kick off your Thursday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram were ranked No. 2 in Pro Football Focus' 'best rushing tandems ahead of the 2019 NFL season.' Ravens fans are excited to see Jackson and Ingram work together on the field this season.

2. The Ravens are looking for help at left guard and with 2017 fifth-round pick Jermaine Eluemunor not getting many reps in, Coach Harbaugh put Eluemunor in the left guard spot. Although Harbaugh said Eluemunor will need to get in better shape, he acknowledged Eluemunor's work at left guard.


Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens and Rotoworld for news points.

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