posted on Aug, 16 2004 @ 12:33 PM
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - American Natalie Coughlin won Olympic gold in the 100-meter backstroke Monday night.
Coughlin, the only woman ever to swim under 1 minute in the event, finished first in 1 minute, 0.37 seconds.
Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe, who swims at Auburn University in Alabama, earned the silver in 1:00.50. Laure Manaudou of France took bronze in
Manaudou had won the 400 freestyle Sunday night.
Coughlin, of Concord, Calif., broke the minute-barrier for the first time in July 2002, going 59.58 to lower the world record of 1:00.16 set by He
Cihong of China. Coughlin did it again at last month's U.S. trials, when she swam in 59.85.
The American owns six of the top 10 times in the event, but didn't need a sub-minute time to win her first gold medal.
Haley Cope of Chico, Calif., was eighth and last in 1:01.76.