Kirsty Coventry: I’m Out To Break Tie With Egerszegi For Most Olympic Solo Medals

When flexibility met versatility: Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry 10 years ago at Montreal 2005 Worlds… and still going strong - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Kirsty Coventry’s career offers up a unique storyline, one divided between present-day goals and legacy-establishing achievements. The Zimbabwe star, on the road to her fifth Olympiad, not only has a chance to once again reveal her status as one of the sport’s current stars, but also provide a reminder that she’s an all-time great.

All SwimVortex articles are placed in our archive after five days, the library of content available to subscribers.
Log In Register

Kirsty Coventry’s career offers up a unique storyline, one divided between present-day goals and legacy-establishing achievements. The Zimbabwe star, on the road to her fifth Olympiad, not only has a chance to once again reveal her status as one of the sport’s current stars, but also provide a reminder that she’s an all-time great.

Comments

aswimfan

If only Egerszegi had swum 100 back in Atlanta she would have won 8 medals, guaranteed.
In fact, she may have won it, as her lead-off swim in the 4×100 medley was the fastest 100 back swim in Atlanta.

I also think she retired too early. She could have won a further couple of medals in Sydney 2000 as both 100 and 200 back in Sydney were within her reach, especially in the 200 back where 2:08.16 by Mocano won her gold, and a slow 2:11.05 by Miki Nakao won bronze.

There’s a reason why I picked Egerszegi as #1 in my all star team! 🙂

aswimfan

And admirable as Coventry’s quest is, and I do admire and respect her who still choose to keep her nationality, I think her chance to win a medal in Rio is very slim

It will require at least 58.7 to win 100 back medal and 2:06.00 to win 200 back medal.
200 and 400 IM will be even more brutal. 2:08 and 4:30 will be required to win medal.

Obviously her best chance is in 200 back, but even then, she will have to swim one second faster than her textile PB. Possible? yes. Likely? Not at the age of 32 next year. 200 back is not like 50 free where you can still get faster even in 30s.

Bad Anon

While 2.06.83 is her textile best from 2007, I think the shiny suit season masked what she could have done in textile, 2.05mid maybe. I think she can make finals in Kazan and will be a strong medal contender, I’d think 2.06mid is attainable and maybe enough to medal .Outside Franklin,Zueva and Coventry ,noone else has been 2.05 in all suits. better still only Coventry, Franklin and Zueva have been 2.04 all suits. If Coventry is fit and healthy she could be around 2.05 which will be enough to medal

Danjohnrob

It seems like it might be a good idea to narrow her focus somewhat in 2016. One big difference between a 32 year old and a 22 year competing against each other is likely to be recovery from exertion. The effect of two 400 IM races (assuming she made the final) on day #1 of the Olympics on her entire meet might be tragic, especially considering the fact that she has been away from the pool for two years. I’d recommend dropping that race from her schedule at a minimum. Regardless, I love to see history being made; I hope she wins medal #8!

Bad Anon

She has since dropped 400IM from her schedule. Suffice to say women’s swimming is more competitive than ever before

Bad Anon

Perhaps the most outstanding of Coventry’s achievements was winning 4 individual medals at one Olympics, only Phelps has gone better with 5 in Beijing as well. it will be incredibly tough for any woman in rio and beyond to win four (or more) individual medals at one Olympics in view of the brutal competition of nowadays

aswimfan

Shane Gould won 5 individual medals in Munich. 3 WRs and all freestyle medals.

Bad Anon

Ofcourse, one of the finest female freestylers ever; any athlete matching that feat obviously meets legendary status, but now in the 21st century such perfomances are incredibly hard to beat. while Phelps beat Spitz 7golds, it’s doubtful Shane Gould’s record will be beaten.

Craig Lord

plus 200IM gold in WR, too – that’s versatility, aswimfan 🙂

Viva la Bang

Shane Gould also held in 1971, every women’s freestyle world records, 100m 200m 400m 800m and 1500m, a feat that will probably never be equalled!

Anon

She was only 15 at the time too! Pity her last international event was at 16. She could have been the GOAT

Anon

^and her 400m time was 3.4s better than the silver medalist

Viva la Bang

Yes she was a great swimmer, although was fed up with the fame side of things when she retired in 1973, I wonder how she would have performed in Montreal, had she chosen to swim on!

Craig Lord

Viva, It may well have been a blessing that Shane didn’t make it as far as worlds 1973 and the start of the GDR state plan 14:25 roll out. She was spared having to face all of that.

Viva la Bang

True Craig, and she at least had the satifaction of defeating a clean 13 yr old in Kornelia Ender in the 200m medley!

Josh

She really needs to pare down her event schedule. The 200 IM interferes with the 100 back, and the 400 IM is a bad idea at 32. Her best chance for a medal is the 200 backstroke.

It’s moot now, but I wish Laure Manaudou had stayed with Philippe Lucas, or even went to train with Pellerin. If she’d have swam to her potential, I have no doubt she would have surpassed Coventry and Egerszegi in individual medals. C’est dommage.

aswimfan

Ender was extremely talented, but I doubt she was clean in Munich.

And I agree with Craig, it was a blessing in disguise that Gould didn’t have to face the east German female botniks in Montreal.
Even the full might of extremely talented US ladies were only spared one gold by Ender and Co.

Danjohnrob

When you think about how different the history of swimming would have been without the GDR “Plan” (and by extention the Chinese doping that emulated it) it makes you pretty sad. 🙁

Bad Anon

And when the guardians of our sport choosing to “let sleeping dogs lie” does not help much either. I wonder if efforts to recognize the affected athletes will gain any momentum. Such a tragic past

So Cal Swimmer

Bad Anon, since the 1990s, there have been many MANY loud and vocal attempts to give the athletes (who had their true victories stolen from them) recognition. FINA and IOC have ignored every single shout. Will it ever happen? I want to believe it will……but…….

Bad Anon

Those are some of the issues .Unfortunately for some, seeking a third term in office takes precedence over all other issues

MissZim

Don’t know about how swimming has changed over the years but we’re proud of Kirsty just for representing us as a nation. She’s will always be our golden girl and winning more medals will be icing on the cake. Keep blazing that trail Kirsty, rooting for you all the way. #proudZimbabwean

aswimfan

Hi there missZwim,

I think you might be the first Zimbabwean I see writing comment on a swimming forum. I’m from Indonesia, and it’s so nice to have people from all over the world discussing swimming, rather than the usual Americans/Aussies/Brits, nice as they all are 🙂

Kim Simonsen

I think Egerszegi is the greatest female simmer in history – the only reason Dawn Fraser is always “picked” is because of a anglo-american bias in the media. Egerszegi wasn’t “interesting” because she didn’t speak english.

Craig Lord

There’s a touch of truth in that, Kim but I think it fair to note that swimming was a sport that had a huge media presence even at nationals in nations such as Britain, US, Australia and much further afield when Dawn Fraser was not only first to do what she (the triple, and always will be) but did that when the world was a more romantic place and interested in a lady who didn’t seem to have too much respect for authority and had a dramatic story with her wherever she went, as well as the speed to win, a wry comment never far away. Krisztina’s first win was a remote affair in terms of mass world media, coinciding with the era of Biondi and Evans on the rise at the end of the GDR era (didn’t know it would be the end just at that point). I don’t think it is a question of anglo-american bias as much as saying, is there a story we can get to very fast, with quotes and colour that translate to news and features and more and readily available to get the thing out in double quick time – that’s what media does, all the more so today… Krizstina’s triple was a second one, not a first – and first always live longer… fair to note, too, that often there was no-one in those early days of Krisztina excelling to standby to translate from Hungarian, so yes, the excellence of what she did was recorded domestically and by swimming focussed journalists but did not translate to the wider world with the same ease as the pioneering and trailblazing tale of Dawn Fraser.

Kim Simonsen

Thanks for your comments, Craig.

However, I would not call Egerszegi´s win in Seoul – age 14 – “a remote affair”, she did beat the to East German contenders, Zimmermann and Sirch – both doped 🙂

Otherwise, I think you are right in your assessments.

Craig Lord

🙂 yes, I used the word remote, remotely in a very relative way of speaking 🙂 it was a great story in itself.

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!
×