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Winning First Day For Illinois Athletes At London Olympics

Sarah Zelenka and Sara Hendershot of the United States prepare to compete in the Women's Pair Heats on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on July 28, 2012 in Windsor, England.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/ Getty Images)

Sarah Zelenka and Sara Hendershot of the United States prepare to compete in the Women’s Pair Heats on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on July 28, 2012 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/ Getty Images)

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LONDON (WBBM) – Three athletes with ties to the Chicago-area qualified for the medal rounds of their respective sports on Saturday at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Itasca-native Sarah Zelenka advanced to the Final in the Women’s Pair Rowing. She and teammate Sara Hendershot finished second in their heat Saturday. The final is Wednesday.

Twin brothers Grant and Ross James from DeKalb finished second in the Men’s Eight Rowing heat and advance to Final also on Wednesday.

Swimmer Conor Dwyer of Winnetka finished fifth in the medal round of the Men’s 400 Freestyle just behind the fellow Team USA member Peter Vanderkaay who won the bronze. Dwyer will compete again on Tuesday in the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay.

Two other athletes with ties to Illinois compete on Sunday at the Olympics, including swimmer Matt Grevers who will swim in the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay and the Men’s 100m Backstroke. Grevers, a native of Lake Forest won gold and silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Diver Kelci Bryant also competes on Sunday in the Women’s Synchronized 3-meter Springboard. Bryant is from Chatham near Springfield and is also a medal favorite.