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Kirsty Coventry

One of the world’s top backstroke and medley swimmers, Kirsty Coventry is Zimbabwe’s top Olympian, having won seven of the country’s eight Olympic medals by Rio 2016.

She is a two-time champion in the 200m Backstroke, at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008

Coventry also won silver and bronze in 2004 and claimed silvers in the 100m Backstroke, 200m Medley and 400m Medley four years later.

Following her achievements, Coventry was selected as Zimbabwe’s Opening Ceremony Flagbearer at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, but couldn't make the podium at either Olympics.

She has won eight Long Course World Championship medals, three of them gold, and enjoyed a fruitful 2008 Short Course World Championships in Manchester, where she set numerous world records and came home with four golds.

A former world-record holder in every event she has contested, Coventry’s first was in 2008, breaking the second-oldest swimming record in the book, the 200m backstroke mark set by Hungarian Krisztina Egerszegi in 1991.

Coventry was the third woman in history to break the 60-second barrier in the 100m backstroke and the second to break the 59-second barrier.

In 2015, she established the Kirsty Coventry Academy, which strives to prevent drowning and inspire youngsters in Zimbabwe.

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