Coughlin and Silver Help lift Team USA to a Silver Medal in the 4x100 Free Relay
Aug. 9, 2008
Beijing, China - Former Cal women's swimming greats Natalie Coughlin and Emily Silver aided USA Swimming to a silver medal in the final of the women's 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2008 Summer Olympics on Sunday (Saturday night in the states).
Coughlin was in the final foursome that included Dara Torres, Kara Lynn Joyce and Lacey Nymeyer, that swam a second place time of 3:34.33 behind gold medalist Australia, who set an Olympic record 3:33.76.
Silver will earn a gold medal because she helped the United States capture a first place finish in the preliminaries earlier in the day with a time of 3:37.53.For Coughlin this is her sixth overall medal in Olympic competition (five in the 2004 Games) and it's the first Olympic medal for Silver.
Arguably the greatest female swimmer in Cal history, Coughlin won 12 NCAA titles with the Golden Bears (the second-most career titles for a women's swimmer in NCAA history). She was a three-time NCAA and Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year. Her success only grew more after her collegiate tenure. At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Coughlin became the third American woman to win five medals at one Olympics (the others are Mary Lou Retton and Shannon Miller). She took gold in the 100-meter backstroke and the 800 freestyle relay, breaking the world record in that event. Coughlin also won silver medals in the 400 free relay and the 400 medley relay, and a bronze in the 100 free. At the 2008 Olympic Trials, Coughlin lowered her world record in the 100 back to 58.97. In addition, she finished second in both the 100 free (53.83) and 200 individual medley (2:10.32).
Silver was a member of the U.S. team at the 2007 World University Games, where she won a gold medal in the 400 free relay and a silver in the 400 medley relay. During the 2007-08 college dual season, she recorded over 10 individual first-place finishes (in dual meets). She was a member of Cal's 800-yard free relay that won the 2008 Pac-10 title (and Pac-10 meet record) in 7:04.13 and she was on the NCAA runner-up 200 free relay (1:27.52, a new school record). Silver set a Cal record in the 50 free at the 2007 NCAA meet (21.99, since broken), and she was the '07 Pac-10 champion in the 100 and 200 free. Voted team MVP as a freshman in 2005, Silver earned a bronze medal in the 400-meter free relay at the World Championships that summer. She claimed her spot on the U.S. Olympic team with a fifth-place finish in the 100 free at the trials (54.91).
Coughlin will also be competing in the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke as well as the 400 medley relay in the Summer Games.