Coventry attended Dominican Convent High School in Zimbabwe. In 2000, Coventry became the first Zimbabwean swimmer to reach the semifinals at the Olympics. At the 2005 World Championships in Montreal, Kirsty won gold in both the 100 m and 200 m backstroke and silver in the 200 m and the 400 m IM. She bettered her Olympic gold-winning 200 m backstroke time with a performance of 2:08.52. In Melbourne at the 2007 World Championships, Coventry won silver medals in the 200 m backstroke and 200 m.
In 2008, Coventry broke her first world record in the 200 m backstroke at the Missouri Grand Prix. Kirsty Coventry is the third woman in history to break the 1:00 minute barrier in the 100 m backstroke, and is the fastest swimmer of all-time at 58.77 in this event.At the 2008 Manchester Short Course World Championships, Kirsty Coventry broke her second world record in the 400 m IM. She won her second gold medal in the 100 m backstroke. Her time of 57:10 was a new championship record and the second fastest time in history in the event. Kirsty Coventry was named as the FINA Female Swimmer of the Championships.
Coventry represented Zimbabwe at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Coventry won the silver medal in the 400 m individual medley Coventry beat the world record by just under two seconds, Coventry did defend her Olympic title in the 200 m backstroke, winning gold in a world record time of 2:05.24
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