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ZIMBABWE’S swimming icon Kirsty Coventry picked up her second silver medal on the final night of the Mare Nostrum stop at Monte Carlo in the French Principality of Monaco on Sunday when she settled for second place in the women’s 100m backstroke event.

According to reports from Monaco, Coventry (31) was beaten into second place by Denmark’s Mie Nielsen who was the only woman to dip under the one minute mark in the women’s 100m backstroke, finishing in a winning time of 59.51sec.

Coventry finished second in a time of 1:00.87, followed by American Kathleen Baker who recorded a time of 1:00.92.

The Zimbabwean swimming star was back in the pool on Sunday night after having won her first silver medal at this two-day meet when she came second behind Hungary’s “Iron Lady” Katinka Hosszu in the 200m backstroke event on the previous night in which she clocked 2:10.01.

Hosszu won the women’s 200m backstroke title in 2:08.54 to snatch the gold medal away from Coventry who took part in the Mare Nostrum stop in Monte Carlo as part of her preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sunday night also saw Coventry competing in the sprint events where she took on American Baker in the women’s 50m backstroke and she did well to win it in 28.08sec.

Baker clocked 28.26sec.

The sprint events all went through preliminaries, quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals where two swimmers raced head to head and in the final, Coventry came up against Baker who she had earlier beaten into third place in the 100m backstroke.

The weekend’s two-day Mare Nostrum was a series of swimming meets with three competitions around the Mediterranean Sea in June annually and Coventry flew from her base at Charlotte in North Carolina, United States, to take part in this year’s leg of the competition in Monte Carlo at the weekend.

She is now expected to return to her base in the United States to continue with her preparations for next year’s Olympic Games where she is scheduled to appear at the world’s biggest sporting festival for a record fifth time in a row.

In fact in 2000, while still in high school, Coventry became the first Zimbabwean swimmer to reach the semi-finals of the 200m backstroke at the Olympics during her debut appearance at these Games in Sydney, Australia.

Source : The Herald