Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe has set a world record in the 100-meter backstroke semifinals at the Beijing Olympics.
Coventry touched in 58.77 seconds Monday morning, breaking the mark of 58.97 set by American Natalie Coughlin at last month’s U.S. trials. Coughlin won her semifinal heat in 59.42.
Coventry is the leading qualifier and Coughlin second-fastest going into Tuesday morning’s final. Coughlin won the gold medal four years ago in Athens and Coventry took the silver.
It was the fourth world record set at the Water Cube during the games.