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Coventry back at Texas base

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Six months after news broke that Zimbabwe’s swimming star Kirsty Coventry would be hosted by the Royal Couple of Monaco in her training up until the 2012 London Games, Coventry has elected to return to Austin, Texas, to train with her former coach Kim Brackin.

Brackin, the former Auburn University coach, is now the head women’s swimming coach at the University of Texas.

The 28-year-old two-time Olympic champion spent eight years working with Brackin at Auburn University, one of the powerhouses of United States collegiate swimming.

Brackin was at the helm of the bulk of Coventry’s top successes, including two gold medals in the 200 backstroke at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. Coventry also has four silvers to her credit, and a bronze.

In the long course world championship competition, she also won three world titles and placed runner-up five other times.

“I’m thrilled to have her back at Texas,” Brackin told Swimming World yesterday.

“She raises the bar for everyone and brings a level of experience that my team will benefit from being around. I’m excited to challenge her and help her prepare to race at her best in London. Besides being a great athlete, she is just someone I enjoy being around every day.”

Coventry, who early this week parted ways with her coach Branislav Ivkovic, also confirmed her reunion with her former coach on her Twitter account.

“Moving back to my coach in the US because I trust her 100 percent and I know she has my back!”

The move is a low-risk one for Coventry, as she hasn’t had much in the way of success on the world stage since leaving Brackin.

She had a disappointing outing at the Shanghai World Championships last year after failing to make a single final before making amends at the All-Africa Games where she scooped six gold medals.

The swimming star, however, fired warning shots ahead of the Olympic Games in July with a
top-class performance at Swimming South Africa’s international invitational meet in Durban.

She was named the Best Female Performer of the Meet on Sunday winning four events – the women’s 200m individual medley and the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke – during the two-day meet in which she also came second in the 100m freestyle.

Coventry also swam the only Olympic A-time of the meet when she won the 200m individual medley on Saturday in a time of 2:12.65.

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