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Swimming at the 2004 Athina Summer Games:

Women's 100 metres Backstroke

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Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Olympic Aquatic Centre, Athens Olympic Sports Complex Spiros Loues, Athina
Date Started: August 15, 2004
Date Finished: August 16, 2004

Gold: USA Natalie Coughlin
Silver: ZIM Kirsty Coventry
Bronze: FRA Laure Manaudou

Summary

After dominating the event in 2001 and 2002, when she became the first woman to break the minute for the distance, [Natalie Coughlin]'s career hit a bump in the road in 2003 when illness wrecked her defence of the world title.

Luckily for Coughlin she was back on form in 2004 and, if not quite back to the level she showed two years earlier, was expected to win the Olympic title in the 100 metres backstroke. The American made her usual quick start and turned for home under her own world record pace. Coughlin began to made slightly down the home stretch and came under pressure from Zimbabwe's [Kirsty Coventry] out in lane one. Though Coventry closed down quickly on the tiring Coughlin she was unable to catch her but still had the consolation of winning her country's first Olympic medal in an individual event. [Laure Manaudou] the 400 metre freestyle champion, placed third with 2003 World Champion [Antje Buschschulte] trailing in sixth.