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Beijing 2008


Wire services

Aaron Peirsol of the United States won the Olympic gold medal in the men's 100-metre backstroke Tuesday, breaking the world record.

Peirsol touched in 52.54 seconds, lowering his old mark of 52.89 set at last month's U.S. trials.

Matt Grevers of the United States won the silver. Arkady Vyatchanin of Russia and Hayden Stoeckel of Australia tied for bronze.

American Natalie Coughlin turned the tables on Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry to win the 100-metre backstroke gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Coughlin held off the fast-finishing Coventry to touch the wall first in 58.96 seconds, just 0.19 outside the world record of 58.77 the Zimbabwean set during Monday's semi-finals.

Coventry finished second in 59.19 to claim her second silver medal in Beijing after being runner-up in the 400 individual medley while American Margaret Hoelzer won bronze in 59.34.

Coughlin won a relay silver on the first day of finals in Beijing, also won the 100 backstroke .

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