12 Aug 2008

Coughlin wins 100 women's backstroke

2:54 pm on 12 August 2008

The American swimmer Natalie Coughlin turned the tables on Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry to win the 100 metres backstroke gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Coughlin held off the fast-finishing Coventry to touch the wall first in 58.96 seconds, just 0.19 outside the world record of 58.77 the Zimbabwean set during Monday's semi-finals.

Coventry finished second in 59.19 to claim her second silver medal in Beijing after being runner-up in the 400 individual medley while American Margaret Hoelzer won bronze in 59.34.

Coughlin, who won a relay silver on the first day of finals in Beijing, also won the 100 backstroke title at Athens and becomes the first woman to defend the title since the event was first introduced to the Olympics in 1924.