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Coutts wins bronze but says she choked
By Steve Larkin
05:23 AEST Mon Jul 30 2012

Australian swimmer Alicia Coutts says she's a choker - literally.

Coutts won a bronze medal in the women's 100m butterfly at the London Olympics on Sunday night despite being unable to breathe for the final 15 metres.

"I actually choked on water with 15 to go so I couldn't breathe," Coutts said after a race won by American Dana Vollmer in world record time.

"So I was happy to finish third in the end.

"But if I had a perfect race I think I could have come away with a silver, but what happens on the day happens."

Vollmer became the first woman to complete the event under 56 seconds, clocking 55.98s, while China's Lu Ying won the silver medal.

Coutts was last at the turn but powered through the initial stages of the last lap - until choking with water.

"I'm just glad it didn't happen at the 50 and I had to stop, that would have been really bad," she said.

The 24-year-old had mixed feelings about the bronze, which complements her gold medal won on Saturday night in Australia's 4x100m freestyle relay triumph.

Coutts said the golden buzz meant she got just three hours sleep.

And Coutts sensed she was always unlikely to win gold given Vollmer's sensational form.

"I know that she always goes out very fast," Coutts said.

"I was just trying to swim my race and not worry about what anyone else was doing around me.

"I didn't want to get caught up in someone else's race plan because I'm worried or freaked out, I just went out there and followed my race plan."

Coutts,is among the favourites for the 200m individual medley starting Monday and will also likely feature in Australia's 4x100m medley team later in the Olympics.

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