Perfect 10: Coughlin Scores Bronze in the 100 Freestyle
Aug. 14, 2008
Beijing, China - Make it 10 career Olympic medals for California swimming legend Natalie Coughlin after a bronze medal performance in the 100-meter freestyle Thursday night at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing.
Coughlin, who has garnered five medals in the 2008 Games, posted a time of 53.39, behind first-place finisher Britta Steffen of Germany (53.12) and Lisbeth Trickett of Australia (53.16).
Former U.S. star Jenny Thompson holds the record for most Olympic women's swimming medals with 12.
Former Cal men's swimmer Matt Biondi holds the record most medals by any Cal athlete with 11. Coughlin has a chance to snare medal No. 11 when she will most likely compete in the 400 medley relay on August 15.
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 then world record (since broken) 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).
Coughlin medals in Beijing
Bronze Women's 200m Individual Medley (2:10.34)Bronze Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay (7:46.33)Silver Women's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay (3:34.33)Bronze Women's 100m Freestyle (53.39)Gold Women's 100m Backstroke (58.96)