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Coventry sets world record in women's 100 backstroke

August 10, 2008 |  8:14 pm

BEIJING -- Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe set a world record of 58.77 seconds in the semifinals of the women’s 100-meter backstroke on Monday.

The previous record was 58.97, set by Natalie Coughlin at last month’s U.S. Olympic trials.

Incredibly, she could have gone faster. "I thought, 'I'm good. I'm going to make it into the final.' So I slowed my tempo down a little bit," Coventry said. "I wasn't expecting it."

-- Lisa Dillman