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London Olympics: Missy Franklin gets an Australian wake-up call

July 29, 2012|By Bill Shaikin
  • Missy Franklin starts in a women's 100-meter backstroke swimming heat.
Missy Franklin starts in a women's 100-meter backstroke swimming… (Michael Sohn / Associated…)

LONDON -- Missy Franklin is not quite the gold medal guarantee that the "Missy the Missile" hype tends to suggest. Franklin is entered in four individual events, but her times appear out of medal range in the 100 and 200 freestyle.

She did enter the Olympics with the best qualifying time in the 100 and 200 backstroke. However, she heard a loud warning shot in the Sunday morning qualifying heats in the 100 back.

Franklin won her heat, in 59.37 seconds. But Australia's Emily Seebohm set an Olympic record in her heat, in 58.23 seconds.

The time difference between first and second place was greater than the difference between second and 17th place.

"Emily's race was unbelievable," Franklin said. "I was so excited watching her. I'm excited about my time, too."

Franklin won the Olympic trials in 58.85 seconds, the time that had been the best in the world this year.

She sported toenails painted red, white and blue.

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