Mormons in the Olympics, days 1 and 2: swimming and fencing

Published: Monday, July 30 2012 7:42 a.m. MDT

The United States' Breeja Larson, left, and the United States' Rebecca Soni compete in a women's 100-meter breaststroke swimming semifinal at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London on Sunday, July 29. Both Larson, who is Mormon, and Soni advanced to the finals on Monday.

David J. Phillip, Associated Press

USA swimmer and Mormon Breeja Larson is in the 100-meter breaststroke finals Monday after qualifying in both the preliminary heat and semifinal round over the weekend.

Her time in the semifinal round puts the 20-year-old Texas A&M student in the final round after Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte, USA's Rebecca Soni and Russia's Iuliia Efimova.

Another swimmer who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also competed over the weekend. New Zealand's Hayley Palmer, 23, swam the final leg of the 4x100 meter freestyle relay, helping her team move from eighth to seventh in their preliminary heat. Overall, their team placed 14th and didn't advance to the finals. Palmer will also swim in two other events later this week.

Other updates of Mormons competing in the Olympics:

Fencing

Venezuela's Johana Beatriz Fuenmayor Choles competed in the women's individual foil on Saturday, winning her first match against Egypt's Eman Elgammal. The 33-year-old LDS Church member lost her second match to Italy's Ariann Errigo, who ultimately won the silver.

Maria Gabriella Martinez Gascon competes Monday in the women's individual epee.

Volleyball

The men's teams, both those that play on sand and hardwood, won their first matches this weekend.

In beach volleyball, the two-man team of Mormon Jake Gibb and partner Sean Rosenthal beat a team from South Africa. In volleyball, the U.S. men's team, including libero Rich Lambourne and middle blocker Russell Holmes, beat Serbia's men's team.

In both sports, the teams are divided in groups or pools and play each member of the pool. Teams with the most wins in the pool games advance to the elimination rounds.

Click here for a list of Mormons competing in the 2012 London Olympics.

Email: rappleye@desnews.com

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