IT was yet another milestone for swimming legend Kirsty Coventry after she was voted the 2012 African Female Swimmer of the Year by a United States-based publication, Swimming World Magazine, in their latest end of the year edition.
BY OUR SPORTS REPORTER
In 2004, Africa became the final continent recognised in Swimming World Magazine’s regional Swimmer of the Year awards.
“Despite its late recognition, a number of incredibly talented athletes have come out of the region. This year’s male and female African Swimmer of the Year award winners are Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry and South Africa’s Chad le Clos.
“Every year, a panel of international Swimming World Magazine correspondents cast their ballots for Regional and World Swimmers of the Year. 2012 marks the seventh year Coventry has been honoured as Swimming World Magazine’s female African Swimmer of the Year. London 2012 was Coventry’s third Olympics. She competed in the 100 and 200 backstroke and 200 IM.
“Le Clos produced arguably the biggest upset of the London 2012 Olympics when he out-touched his swimming hero, Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly.
“For this effort, he received a large majority of the first-place votes among the Swimming World Magazine panelists,” the magazine said.
Coventry’s international career took off in 2000 after she qualified for her first Olympic Games in Sydney at the age of 16.
The rest, like they say, is history and these achievements below reads like a fairytale:
- World Champion and world record holder, 200m Backstroke, World Championships 2009, Rome, Italy
- Olympic Gold and Three Silver medals, Olympic Games, Beijing, China, 2008
- World Record Holder in the 200m Backstroke 2008/2009/2010
- World Record Holder in the 100m Backstroke 2008-2009
- Four-Time World Short Course Champion, Manchester, England, 2008
- Short Course World Record Holder in the 200m Individual Medley, 200m Backstroke and 400m Individual Medley, 2008
- Two-Time Silver Medallist, World Championships, Melbourne, Australia, 2007
- Seven-Time Gold Medallist, All-Africa Games, Algeria, 2007
- Two-time World Champion and Two-Time Silver Medallist, World Championships, Montreal, Canada, 2005
- Overall Female Swimmer of the meet, World Championships, Montreal, Canada, 2005
- Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze medallist, Olympic Games, Athens, Greece, 2004
- Proclaimed Honorary Citizen of Athens, Greece, by Mayor Dora Bakoyannis 2004
- Gold Medallist, Commonwealth Games, Manchester, England, 2002
- Zimbabwe Sportsperson of the Year, 2002, 2004, 2005
- Zimbabwe Sportswoman of the Year 2002, 2004, 2005
- African Swimmer of the Year, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009