Missy Franklin Sets American Record in 100m Backstroke at US Trials
In the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials on Wednesday, 17-year-old Missy Franklin set the American record in the 100-meter backstroke in Omaha, blowing past Rachel Bootsma and Natalie Coughlin, who finished second and third, respectively.
Amy Van Dyken-Rouen of Fox Sports, a six-time Olympic swimming gold medalist, tweeted:
Results: new American Record Missy Franklin :58.85 2nd place..Rachel Bootsma 59.48 & the 2 time gold medalist in event Nat Coughlin is 3rd— Amy Van Dyken-Rouen (@AmyVanDyken) June 28, 2012
Franklin, who will be appearing in her first Olympics this year in London, finished with a time of 58:85, while Bootsma clocked in at 59:48.
Of course, this means Coughlin—a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the event—did not qualify for this event, though she still has a chance to make London in the individual 100-meter freestyle or as a member of a relay. The 29-year-old appeared in the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics, earning a total of 11 Olympic medals in that span.
Franklin, on the other hand, was seen as an up-and-comer even before her record-breaking swim at trials. In October, she set the world record in the 200-meter backstroke (short course) at the 2011 FINA Swimming World Cup. Franklin combined with Coughlin, Rebecca Soni and Dana Vollmer to break the world record in the 4×100-meter medley relay at the 2011 Duel in the Pool in December.
After Franklin's stunning finish on Wednesday, she gives great hope for the U.S. heading into the 2012 Summer Games. Bootsma, 18, will be another youngster to keep an eye out for. In October 2011, she broke the Pan American Games record in the 100-meter backstroke, clocking in at 1:00.37.
The U.S. can be happy as a whole that its youth is showing promise en route to the 2012 Olympics. Having two teenagers qualify is something to be proud of as a country.
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