Swimming: US Olympic champion Dana Vollmer competes in 50m freestyle race while 6 months pregnant

Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer competed in a 50m freestyle race while six months pregnant.
Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer competed in a 50m freestyle race while six months pregnant.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/DANA VOLLMER

Olympic swim champ Dana Vollmer made a splash by competing in a professional race while six months pregnant.

The American sportswoman took part in a USA Swimming Pro Series race on April 14.

She posted on Instagram on March 31: "Started having dreams about being at competitions!! It's been too long! So I've decided to enter the Mesa Arena Pro Swim Series and swim a 50free!! #pregoracing #24weekspregnant"

The post attracted many comments of encouragement.

"I didn't start off wanting to prove anything. It was something I talked about with (husband)Andy and my doctors," She told ESPN in an interview.

While the baby comes first, but that "doesn't mean you need to sit on the couch all day and do nothing", she said.

She would be wearing a normal racing suit, but in a bigger size (32 instead of the 26 she wore at the 2016 Rio Olympics), she told the sports news site.

She failed it to make it out of the heats, clocking 2~7.59 seconds - way below her personal best of 25.09sec - to finish 55th overall.

After the race, she tweeted that the race "felt great", thanking fans for their support.

She also revealed in the tweet on Saturday that she will be having another boy. She is due in July.

Vollmer, 29, is a five-time Olympic gold medallist. She won gold in the 4×100m medley relay in Rio de Janeiro, after having her first child,son Arlen, in March 2015.

She won three gold medals at the 2012 London Olympic games and a gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

At the 2012 London Olympics, shooter Nur Suryani Taibi made headlines when when she represented Malaysia in the women's 10m air rifle event while eight months pregnant. She did not make it past the qualification round.

Other notable female athletes who competed at the Olympics while pregnant include German archer Cornelia Pfohl (newly pregnant at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, seven months pregnant at the 2004 Athens Olympics) and Dutch dressage rider Anky van Grunsven (five months), who won the gold medal in her event at the 2004 Athens Games.