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Natalie Coughlin wins gold, Margaret Hoelzer wins bronze in 100m backstroke

August 11, 2008 |  8:11 pm

Coughlin BEIJING -- Natalie Coughlin earned the gold medal in the women's 100-meter backstroke event at the National Aquatics Center on Tuesday morning.

Coughlin was joined on the podium by teammate Margaret Hoelzer, who won the bronze.

Coughlin posted a time of 58.96 seconds, edging Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry by 0.23. Hoelzer touched the wall in 59.34 seconds. Coughlin went out strong, making the turn at 28.58, a full 0.40 seconds ahead of Coventry.

Hoelzer was fifth at the turn, but covered the return leg in 29.02 to surge to the medal stand.

Photo of Natalie Coughlin by Thomas Kienzle / Associated Press