Coven­try’s 100m back­stroke medal bid fails

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here - Harare Bureau

KIRSTY COVEN­TRY’S bid to win a medal in the 100m back­stroke at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro ended at the semi-fi­nal stage after the swim­ming icon fin­ished sixth in her heat.

Only the four top swim­mers from the heat qual­i­fied for fi­nal.

Coven­try, the con­ti­nent’s great­est Olympian, was well beaten by her rivals led by Amer­i­can swim­mer Kath­leen Baker who won the race in 58.84s.

Katinka Hosszu of Hun­gary was sec­ond in 58.94s with Chi­nese swim­mer Yuan­hui Fu tak­ing third place in 58.95s.

Kylee Masse fin­ished fourth of Canada fourth in 59.06s.

Coven­try could only fin­ish in sixth place in 1 min 0.3s. “I wanted to make Finals in the 100 Back­stroke tonight but didn’t,” Coven­try said on In­sta­gram.

“I have to re­mind my­self that I came 11th in the World at my 5th Olympics and I have al­ways rep­re­sented Zim­babwe, my friends and fam­ily to the best of my abil­ity.

Please keep up the sup­port as I race #JustOneMore on the 11th and 12th in my favourite event - the 200m Back­stroke.” Coven­try said she was dis­ap­pointed. “I am not happy with it. I wanted it to be quicker. You know, I knew for this race it was go­ing to be re­ally hard to make finals. But I would have loved just gone out on a 59:9 even,” she told Zim­pa­pers’ Spencer Banda who is in Rio.

“I reaped my suit right be­fore (the race) and had to take it off and put on a new one.” fin­ished

Coven­try got her first medals at the 2004 Sum­mer Olympics in Athens, Greece, where she won one gold, a sil­ver and a bronze medal.

The swim­ming sen­sa­tion went on to claim four medals — one gold and three sil­vers — at the 2008 Beijing Games in China.

How­ever, at the 2012 London Games she found the go­ing tough when she fin­ished sixth in both the 200m back­stroke and 200m in­di­vid­ual med­ley events.

Her two Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008 came from the 200m back­stroke event, which is one of her favourite events.

The swim­ming icon has won seven of Zim­babwe’s eight Olympic medals since In­de­pen­dence.

Though she was three spots away from mak­ing the fi­nal of the 100m back­stroke event, it’s not so much about times these days for her.

She is the great­est fe­male Olympic swim­mer in African his­tory, hav­ing won seven Olympic medals in her ca­reer.

Coven­try’s meet in Rio won’t be de­fined by whether or not she can take home more hard­ware — rather, she’s fur­ther so­lid­i­fy­ing her place as one of the great­est African Olympians of all time.

While Coven­try has just com­pleted her first event, an­other Zim­bab­wean swim­mer Sean Gunn, who is rep­re­sent­ing the county in the men’s 100m freestyle, will be in ac­tion to­day.

An­other Zim­babwe ath­lete, rower An­drew Pee­bles, also failed to make the fi­nal after fin­ish­ing third in his heat after lead­ing for the pack for the ma­jor­ity of the bat­tle.

Micheen Tho­ny­croft, an­other rower, will bat­tle in the quar­ter-finals in Brazil to­day.

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