Sarah Sjostrom wins 100m butterfly, Sweden's first Olympic gold medal
Sarah Sjostrom became Sweden’s first female swimming gold medalist when she won Olympic gold in the 100m butterfly in 55.48 seconds on Sunday, a new world record.
Sweden's only other gold medal was for Lars Frolander in the men's 100m butterfly in 2000.
Canada’s Penny Oleksiak, 16, took the silver in 56.46 seconds. The medal marks Canada’s first-ever medal in the event.
Team USA’s Dana Vollmer, the 2012 gold medalist and former world record holder, claimed the bronze with a 56.63.
"It was a really special night," Vollmer said through USA Swimming. "I just wanted to dive in and give it everything I had. I felt like I did and I fought really hard and touched the wall and said, ‘please just let it me a medal.’”
Vollmer’s gold medal-winning time in 2012, 55.98, set the world and Olympic records at the time. Sjostrom broke the world record at the 2015 World Championships, lowering it to 55.64. In Saturday’s 100m butterfly semifinal, Sjostrom cracked Vollmer’s Olympic record, too, lowering from 55.98 to 55.84.
Prior to the event, Vollmer – who gave birth to her first son Arlen in March 2015 and brands herself as the "Momma on a Mission" – tweeted she was proud of her return journey to the Games no matter the outcome of the race.
American Kelsi Worrell, who qualified for Rio ahead of Vollmer at the U.S. Trials in June, finished the semifinals in ninth place by .03 seconds on Saturday and missed the eight-woman final.