Olympics: Natalie Coughlin ready to chase history

Elliott Almond, our man on the ground in London, files this report on former Cal star Natalie Coughlin, who will swim in the 400-meter freestyle relay prelims Saturday morning while you are sleeping.

There’s a chance — but no guarantee — that Coughlin could be given a spot in the evening relay final.

The prelims will begin at 4:11 a.m. PDT and can be seen live — if you’re a fanatic — online at nbcolympics.com. The relay final will be held at 12:40 p.m. PDT. 

Either way, Coughlin earns whichever medal the team wins.

And the medal would be her 12th in the Olympics, tying the record for most by an American woman at the Olympics.

Coughlin, 29, also talks about the possibility of returning for a fourth Olympics in 2016 at Rio de Janiero — a topic she has not publicly addressed before.

Jeff Faraudo