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East Tennessee Olympian Claire Donahue advances to 100 meter butterfly finals | News

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East Tennessee Olympian Claire Donahue advances to 100 meter butterfly finals
East Tennessee Olympian Claire Donahue advances to 100 meter butterfly finals

Update: Donahue finished 5th in the semifinals with a time of 57.42. She has qualified for the finals that will take place Sunday.

LONDON - Being awakened by fireworks Friday night didn't disturb Claire Donahue this morning.

The 23-year-old from Lenoir City, Tenn., advanced to semifinals of the 100-meter butterfly at the Olympic Games. Donahue's time of 58.06 seconds ranks seventh out of the 16 swimmers who advanced.

Donahue, a Western Kentucky graduate, was sleeping in the Olympic Village until the sound of fireworks from the opening ceremony awakened her.

She seemed delighted by the interruption.
"It was more fun than anything," she said.
Her time of 57.57 from the U.S. trials was sixth in the world heading into the Olympics. She said she was a "good amount of nervous" before the race.

"When I looked and saw my time, I was very happy," Donahue said. "Fifty-eight is a good time in the morning. I'm just glad I'm swimming tonight."

Dana Vollmer had the fastest prelim of 56.25, setting Olympic and American records. The previous Olympic mark was 56.61 by the Netherlands' Inge de Bruijn in 2000. Vollmer lowered her American record from the 56.42 she swam June 25 at the U.S. trials.

David Woods writes for The Indianapolis Star.

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