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Natalie Coughlin Looks the Money for 100 Backstroke Final, Sets a New Olympic Record, Haley Cope Also Makes the Cut -- August 15, 2004 smiles after 100 backstroke oly

By Stephen J. Thomas

ATHENS, Greece August 15. WORLD record-holder Natalie Coughlin continued her progress toward gold with a new Olympic record 1:00.17 to dominate the semifinals.

Despite a strong northerly wind that has blown up fot the first time this evening Coughlin was in control with nearest rival French champ Laure Manaudou second in 1:00.88, Denmark’s Louise Ornstedt next (1:01.12), followed by USA’s Haley Cope (PR 1:01.13) and Spain’s Nina Zhivanevskaya (1:01.19) in a tight finish.

Five of the finalists came from Coughlin’s semi. Germany’s world champ Antje Buschschulte took the first semifinal in 1:00.94 with Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry proving this morning’s performance was no flash in the pan lowering her African record by 0.39 of a second to touch in 1:01.21. Japanese Reiko Nakamura (1:01.24) rounded the finalists.

Aussie backstroker Giaan Rooney missed the cut but swam a national record 1:01.41, enough to suggest she will hold up her leg of the medley relay.




Women 100m Backstroke Semifinals


Record Split Name NOC Location Date
WR 59.58 28.86
COUGHLIN Natalie USA Fort Lauderdale (USA) 13 AUG 2002
OR 1:00.21 29.80
MOCANU Diana Iuliana ROM Sydney (AUS) 18 SEP 2000


Event No: 7

Rank Heat Lane Name NOC R.T. 50m Time Time
Behind
1 2 5 COUGHLIN Natalie USA 0.62 29.21 1:00.17
30.96 OR
2 2 4 MANAUDOU Laure FRA 0.70 29.65 1:00.88
31.23 0.71
3 1 3 BUSCHSCHULTE Antje GER 0.64 29.61 1:00.94
31.33 0.77
4 2 1 OERNSTEDT Louise DEN 0.72 29.83 1:01.12
31.29 0.95
5 2 7 COPE Haley USA 0.67 29.75 1:01.13
31.38 0.96
6 2 6 ZHIVANEVSKAYA Nina ESP 0.69 29.78 1:01.19
31.41 1.02
7 1 5 COVENTRY Kirsty ZIM 0.70 30.07 1:01.21
31.14 1.04 AF
8 1 4 NAKAMURA Reiko JPN 0.63 29.55 1:01.24
31.69 1.07

9 1 2 ROONEY Giaan AUS 0.67 29.98 1:01.41
31.43 1.24 OC
10 1 6 KOMAROVA Stanislava RUS 0.79 30.19 1:01.63
31.44 1.46
11 2 3 INADA Noriko JPN 0.66 29.96 1:01.74
31.78 1.57
12 2 2 HLAVACKOVA Ilona CZE 0.62 29.84 1:01.81
31.97 1.64
13 1 7 SEXTON Katy GBR 0.73 30.50 1:01.96
31.46 1.79
14 1 8 ZHAN Shu CHN 0.68 30.39 1:02.10
31.71 1.93
15 2 8 GAO Chang CHN 0.79 30.20 1:02.17
31.97 2.00
16 1 1 PRICE Sarah GBR 0.69 29.96 1:02.48
32.52 2.31

Results: 2004 Olympic Games