Kirsty Coventry’s decorated Olympic career will feature one more swim in Rio. The seven-time Olympic medalist clocked a 2:08.83 in the semifinals of the 200m backstroke to qualify sixth for Friday night’s championship final at this summer’s Olympic games.
Coventry, from Zimbabwe, finished fourth in the second semifinal to earn her spot in the finals. Katinka Hosszu of Hungary is the top seed (2:06.03) and Hilary Caldwell of Canada is seeded second (2:07.17).
Coventry advanced to the semifinals after placing 9th in the prelims. Her time of 2:08.91 placed her fifth in her heat, which included the top three swimmers coming out of prelims.
Coventry swam at Auburn from 2002-05 and has won two gold, four silver and one bronze medal over the course of her Olympic career, which began in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, and has spanned five summer games.
Luis Martinez, a junior swimming for his native Guatemala, clocked a personal-best and national record 52.22 in the prelims of the 100m butterfly on Thursday morning. He time was good enough for 19th in the field of 43 swimmers, missing the semifinals by .14 seconds.
Auburn had three swimmers competing in the men’s 50m freestyle prelims, with Fred Bousquet of France finishing tied for 25th (22.27), George Bovell of Trinidad & Tobago finishing 27th (22.30) and Ziv Kalontarov of Israel tied for 41st (22.80).
Bruno Fratus, a Brazilian who also trains at Auburn under head coach Brett Hawke, placed 10th in the 50m freestyle prelims in 21.93 seconds. He then returned to the blocks on Thursday night and clocked a 21.71, earning a spot in the Friday’s championship final. Renzo Tjon-A-Joe, who is from Suriname and also trains at Auburn, tied for 21st in the prelims in a national record 22.23.
Friday morning will have a pair of Auburn swimmers competing in preliminary heats. Incoming freshmen Julie Meynen will swim in heat 7, lane 6 of the women’s 50m freestyle at 11:20 a.m. CT while former swimmer Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace will swim in heat 12, lane 3 of the same event at 11:35 a.m.