Zimbabwe’s seven-time Olympic medalist Kirsty Coventry will return to action this weekend, when she takes part in the 2011 Mare Nostrum Series which gets underway in Monaco on Saturday.
The two-day swimming meet starts at the Stade Louis II Swimming Complex on Saturday and Sunday and draws swimmers from all corners of the globe.
The Monaco leg of the Mare Nostrum is the final episode of the three-stage international swimming meet, whose earlier legs were held in Barcelona from June 4-5 , and Canet en Roussillon in France from June 8-9.
The 27-year-old swimming sensation did not take part in the first two legs of the Mare Nostrum as she was in intensive training in her base in South Africa.
Today’s meet will be the first time Coventry will be competing in an international tournament after putting up an impressive performance at the Maria Lenk Trophy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last month.
Coventry, who is expected to take part in the 200m backstroke and the 400m individual medley events, on Friday kept her fans updated on the social networking site Twitter.
“After a long trip to Europe, we have arrived. Monaco is amazing! I could definitely live here. Had a good rest last night, following it through with an easy morning. Will train this afternoon, readying myself for the weekend race,” read two of Coventry’s updates on Friday.
After this weekend’s meet Coventry’s next stop will be at the 48th edition of the International Open Swimming Trophy also known as the Sette Colli in Rome next weekend as she intensifies her preparations for the FINA World Championships in Shanghai China in July.
Coventry is the reigning world champion in the 200m backstroke event after setting a new world record time of 2.04.81secs on her way to winning the world title at the last world championships in Rome in August 2009.
She also came second in the 400m individual medley at the same tournament. Coventry will be Zimbabwe’s brightest medal prospect for the 2012 London Olympic Games.