Missy Franklin: Breaking Down USA Swimming Star's Next Olympic Races

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJuly 30, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26:  Missy Franklin of the USA Swim Team speaks during a press conference at the Main Press Center on July 26, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

While Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte have provided the United States with a mixed bag of results so far, another swimmer is stealing America's hearts in London.

Missy Franklin. 

On Day 1, the 17-year-old helped team USA to a bronze in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay, and followed that up with an impressive showing on Day 2, as she raced out to a semifinal win in the 100-meter backstroke.

It's still early, but could we be watching the woman's Michael Phelps?

Let's take a look at Franklin's next events as she continues her potential early run at history.


200-Meter Freestyle: Monday, July 30 at 5:00 a.m. EDT (Heat) and 2:30 p.m. EDT (Semis)

This isn't Franklin's best event, but she will still be one of the favorites coming in, as her qualifying time of one minute, 55.06 seconds is behind only Camille Muffat of France and countrywoman Allison Schmitt.

A good indicator of how Franklin will do in this event should come in the first heat, as she is lined up next to 23-year-old Federica Pellegrini, who is a solid favorite to compete for the gold. 

When it comes down to it, it's a toss-up between Muffat, Schmitt, Pellegrini and Franklin. The gold could easily come down to whoever is "on" that certain day, but expect each of the four to make it to the finals, which take place on Tuesday night.


100-Meter Backstroke: Monday, July 30 at 2:51 p.m. EDT (Finals)

Expect fatigue to be a large talking point, as Franklin will have to compete in the 100-meter back very shortly after she likely competes in the 200-meter free semifinals. 

Besides fatigue, there is only one thing standing in Franklin's way of winning gold in this event. That is Emily Seebohm, who set the Olympic record during her first heat with a blazing time of 58.23 seconds.

Franklin, who won her semifinal with a time of 59.12 seconds isn't that far off, but it will take a perfect race to catch the Australian. Nonetheless, she should see silver at worst. 


100-Meter Freestyle: Wednesday, August 1 at 5:00 a.m. EDT (Heat) and 2:38 p.m. EDT (Semis)

Franklin has some work to do if she is going to take home a medal in this event.

The young American is solid at the free, but the shorter distance and stacked field really lower her chances of success.

First you have German Britta Steffan, current holder of the world record (52.07 seconds) and Olympic record (53.12 seconds). 

Then you have Jeanette Ottesen and Aleksandra Gerasimenya, who tied for gold at the 2011 World Championships.

And those three aren't even the ultimate favorite. That honor belongs to Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands, who, according to bovada.lv, is the strong favorite to take home gold.

Also in the mix are Sarah Sjostrom, Femke Heemskerk and Fran Halsall.


Franklin is going to have a tough time getting by all of these ladies. A top five finish would be terrific, and a medal would prove she is truly a future superstar.