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Friday, 30 July 2021

London 2012: Zimbabwe name Coventry to carry flag at London Games

Zimbabwe on Friday unveiled a seven-member team for the London Games with two-time Olympic gold medalist Kirsty Coventry their leading medal hope, local organisers said Friday

AFP, Friday 13 Jul 2012
Kirsty Coventry

Coventry won a gold and three silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, to add to her gold, silver and bronze from Athens four years previously.

The 28-year-old joins a Zimbabwe team that includes marathon trio of Cuthbert Nyasango, Wirimai Juwawo and Sharon Tavengwa, rowing pair Jamie Fraser Mackenzie and Micheen Thornycroft and triathlete Christopher Felgate.

"Kirsty is on track to win the country a couple of medals," Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president Admire Masenda told AFP.

"We are happy to have seven athletes qualifying out of the 16,000 athletes to participate at the London 2012 Olympics," he said, but bemoaned the lack of support for sport in the cash-strapped country.

"As a country we haven't invested adequately in sport, the funding isn't adequate," he said.

Coventry will compete in the 100m and 200m women's backstroke as well as the individual medley.

In 2008, at the height of economic meltdown in Zimbabwe, long ruling President Robert Mugabe gave Coventry $100,000 for bringing back home the four medals from Beijing, praising her as a "golden girl."

She was also awarded with the country's diplomatic passport.

Zimbabwe has won only eight Olympic medals since independence in 1980, with the women's hockey team grabbing gold in Russia.

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