LONDON - Claire Donahue is moving on at the 2012 London Olympics, as the former Western Kentucky University swimmer recorded a time of 58.06 in heat six of the 100-meter butterfly at the Aquatics Centre in London Saturday morning, finishing fifth in the heat, and seventh overall to advance.
Donahue will now move on to the semifinals of the 100-meter butterfly later on Saturday, where she will be one of 16 finalists in the event. Donahue's race is scheduled to begin at 1:40 p.m. (CDT) Saturday afternoon. For Donahue to advance to Sunday's final, she would need to record one of the top eight times in the semifinals.
"I was a little nervous," Donahue said. "But, I think that I was, more than anything, just excited. So when I went into it, I just tried to make sure I focused on what I needed to do -swim fast. That's kind of what I did. Just focused on what I needed to do, my turns, my underwaters and my connections. So when I touched and saw my time, I was very happy - 58 is a very good time for this morning. I'm glad I can come back tonight and see what I can do."
Fellow USA swimmer Danna Vollmer won the preliminary heats Saturday morning, finishing with a time of 56.25 out of lane four in heat six, which was the final heat of the event. Vollmer and Donahue will both advance to Satuday's semifinals.
"There's been times when I've not had my best race but I've still done well and a best time," Donahue said. So I'm just trying to focus on what I need to do, and I'm happy with that."
Donahue, the former WKU swimming standout, will be looking to become just the second WKU Olympic athlete to medal at the Summer Olympics. Donahue would be the first since Bernd Herrman earned a bronze medal at the 1976 Montreal Games in the 4x100 meter relay with West Germany. Donahue is just the third WKU Olympic swimmer, and the first to ever swim for the United States.
Fans that would like to see the event live can visit HERE to sign up for the live feed of the 2012 Olympics provided by NBC. If Donahue can advance out of the semifinals, the finals of the 100-meter butterfly would be set for 1:30 p.m. (CDT) on Sunday in London.