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Kirsty Coventry’s preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, gained some momentum when she picked up a silver medal in the women’s 200m backstroke event on the first night of the Mare Nostrum Swimming Series at Monte Carlo in the French Principality of Monaco on Saturday.

The 31-year-old two-time Olympic gold medalist from Zimbabwe clocked a good time of 2:10,01 as she finished second behind Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu who had complete control in the women’s 200m backstroke leading from wire to wire.

Hosszu finished in a time of 2:08,54 nearly a second-and-a-half ahead of Coventry who finished second in a time of 2:10.01 as she continues on the comeback trail. German Jenny Mensing collected the bronze in a time of 2:10,53, according to reports from Monte Carlo.

Coventry was using the two-day Mare Nostrum stop in Monaco, which finished last night, as part of her preparations for next year’s Rio Olympic Games in which she is expected to represent Zimbabwe at the world’s biggest sporting showcase for a record fifth time in a row.

Mare Nostrum is a series of swimming meets with three meets around the Mediterranean Sea in June annually.

Already a winner of seven Olympic Games medals – two golds, four silvers and one bronze – Coventry is also looking at adding one or two more medals to her medal haul at the Rio Games which are set to run from August 5-21, 2016.

Apart from taking part in her favourite 200m backstroke event, Coventry is expected to compete in the 100m backstroke, 200 and 400m Individual Medley competitions at the Rio Games where she is looking at redeeming herself after walking away empty-handed at the last Olympics in London in 2012.

Coventry is currently based at Charlotte in North Carolina, United States, where she is training at SwimMAC during a career resurgence.

She is the most decorated Zimbabwean athlete in the history of the Olympic Games after having made her debut appearance at the biggest sporting showcase on the planet way back in 2000 as a sprightly 16-year-old girl and still a high school pupil at Dominican Convent in Harare.

Source : The Herald