Auburn Night at the Olympics

A report on Auburn athletes competing at the 2008 Summer Olympics in China is featured as Tigers won two gold medals and a silver on Friday night.

Beijing, China--The Auburn medal count jumped to 11 on Friday night as former Tiger swimming star Kirsty Coventry set a world record in winning the gold medal in the women's 200-meter backstroke.

Later in the evening, 2008 NCAA Men's Swimmer of the Year, Cesar Cielo, smoked the field in the 50-meter freestyle to win the gold medal in a time of 21.30 and earn the title of the fastest swimmer on the planet.

Cielo is the first Auburn swimmer to win the 50-meter freestyle gold medal.

With 11 medals, Auburn athletes had combined to win more medals as of 10 p.m. CST on Friday than all but nine of the 200-plus nations with competitors at the 2008 Olympics.

Coventry swam a time of 2:05.24 to win her second Olympic gold medal and seventh overall Olympic medal while representing the African national of Zimbabwe. She has three silver medals from previous swims in Beijing.

Hoelzer, who is from Huntsville, saw a time of 2:06.23 to take the silver medal for the U.S. team. She also won a bronze medal in the 100 backstroke earlier this week at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Margaret Hoelzer

The one-two finish was the first time Auburn athletes finished first and second in the same event.

Coventry jumped out to a quick lead and controlled the entire race while smashing the old world record of 2:06.09 set by Hoelzer earlier this summer at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Cielo, who trained for the Olympics on the Auburn campus with AU sprint coach Brett Hawke following his junior season, set an Olympic record in the event for the third time in Beijing counting the prelminary races. Cielo, who swims for Brazil, dropped the record to 21.47 to 21.34 to 21.30.

The runnerup, Amaury Leveaux of France, swam a time of 21.45.

The following is a listing of Auburn athletes who have won medals:

Kirsty Coventry--Silver, 400 Individual Medley

Fred Bousquet--Silver, 4x100 Freestyle Relay

Matt Targett--Bronze, 4x100 Freestyle Relay

Kirsty Coventry--Silver, 100 backstroke

Margaret Hoelzer--Bronze, 100 backstroke

Glenn Eller--Gold, Men's double trap, shooting

Kirsty Coventry--Silver, 200 individual medley

Cesar Cielo--Bronze, 100 freestyle

Kirsty Coventry--Gold, 200 backstroke (World Record)

Margaret Hoelzer--Silver, 200 backstroke

Cesar Cielo--Gold, 50 freestyle


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