Swimming sensation Kirsty Coventry enjoyed a winning return to competitive swimming in the United States with an impressive display at the US Swimming sectionals held in College Station, Texas, over the weekend.
The 28-year-old seven-time Olympic medalist, who recently parted ways with her Serbian coach Branislav Ivkovic, was competing in the US for the first time since deciding to reunite with her American coach Kim Brackin in Austin Texas last month ahead of the London Olympic Games.
Brackin was at the helm of the bulk of Coventry’s top successes, including two Olympic gold medals in the 200m backstroke at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. Coventry also has four silvers to her credit, and a bronze.
According to a top American swimming publication Swimming World, Coventry might just be rediscovering her form at the right time after some stellar performances in Texas this weekend.
She first powered to victory in the women’s 400m freestyle when she clocked a 4:18,20secs before returning to the pool the following night with another win the women’s 400m Individual Medley in an impressive time of 4:42,84secs.
“Better swim in the 400 free finals this evening (Saturday). I wanted a faster time than 4,18, but happy to win at least,” she posted on the social networking site, Twitter, soon afterwards.
After the second win Coventry said: “Tough race in the 200m free, but came through in the 400IM with a win. I still have a way to go, but it’s starting to feel good again.”
This was Coventry’s first swimming meet since January’s South Africa International Invitational Gala in where she was named the best female performer after winning four events.
With four months left before the London Olympic Games, Coventry’s rich vein of form will be good news to Zimbabweans hoping she will win some medals at the global sporting event. The London Olympic Games will run from July 27 to August 12.
Coventry is one of seven local athletes who have so far booked places at the London Olympics, together with US-based track and field athlete Ngonidzashe Makusha, long-distance runners Cuthbert Nyasango, Wirimayi Juwao and Gilbert Mutandiro and rowers Micheen Thornycroft and Jamie-Fraser Mckenzie.