Coventry staying loyal to troubled Zimbabwe
Monday, 11 August 2008

BEIJING, Aug 10 ( - Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry, who won silver in the Olympic 400 metres individual medley on Sunday, said she would never compete for another country.

In 2002 she took up a scholarship at Auburn University, which has to one of the best swimming teams in the U.S., and despite the economic problems in Zimbabwe she does not intend to copy other African athletes by switching nationality.

"I will not stop representing Zimbabwe," she told reporters. "It is where I was born, my parents live there and I go back as often as I can and I will never not represent Zimbabwe as long as I'm swimming.

"I guess when I stop swimming that is when I'll stop representing Zimbabwe," she said, adding that she plans to go back home for two weeks after the Games.

Coventry finished second to Australian Stephanie Rice who broke the world record and the Zimbabwean, inspired by a seeing her troubled country's flag in the crowd, also dipped under the old mark.

"It was really great," she said. "My parents are here, my boyfriend is here and everybody is so supportive. The spirit is really positive."

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