World Short Course Championships: Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry Keeps Rolling, Wins 100 Back

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MANCHESTER, England, April 10. THE early Swimmer of the Meet is obviously Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry. After setting a world record in the women's 400 IM yesterday, Coventry came from behind to win the women's 100 back today at the FINA World Short Course Championships.

Coventry crushed her national and meet record of 57.99 set in 2008 with a 57.10 as she nearly joined Natalie Coughlin under 57 seconds. She had to catch early leader, Kate Zubkova of Ukraine. Zubkova led at the turn, but wound up taking a close second with a European-record time of 57.15. She cleared Laure Manaudou's record of 57.34 from December, and also destroyed her national record of 58.23 set during prelims.

"I'm really excited," Coventry told meet organizers. "You know Natalie's (Coughlin) record at 56 (second) is a very strong record and very hard to break so I'm enjoying chipping, getting closer and closer, it's definitely going of be a target of mine. Any record that Natalie set is a world standard time and so I'm very excited just to get closer at it. I think I just had a great preparation, in the pool, in the weight room, everything's just kind of come together. I came into this meet just wanting to swim fast and getting prepared to swim fast.

"I'm getting a little tired," Coventry continued with meet organizers. "It's like the second day and I'm thinking. ‘has it really been two days?' But you know I do that in training, so I think it's just making me mentally stronger. At Beijing we're going to have heats, semi-finals and finals in all of the events, and here it's just the 50s and 100s, so I would be even busier if we had semi-finals for 200s and 400s, but it such great preparation for Beijing."

Croatia's Sanja Jovanovic touched out Australia's Rachel Goh for third, 57.80 to 57.83. Jovanovic's time lowered her own national record of 57.94 from December, while Goh also clipped her national standard of 58.10 set during prelims.

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