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BARCELONA, Spain, July 29. YOU know you are one of the best in the world when you can have a costly slip at the start and still lead the way through semis, and that’s just what USA’s Missy Franklin did in the women’s 100-meter back at the FINA World Championships.
Franklin’s feet went straight down on the touch pad at the start, as she lost some serious initial momentum as part of the semifinal heat. This is something the newly-approved backstroke ledge will likely remedy.
The Olympic champion still managed to lead all qualifiers out of semis with a 59.31, well off her top time in the world of 58.67 from U.S. Nationals. Franklin has a heavy schedule this week with eight events, and already notched a gold last night as part of the women’s 400-meter freestyle relay. She’s likely to clinch yet another gold during finals of this swim. If she does, she would join Linda Jezek, Betsy Mitchell, Lea Maurer and Natalie Coughlin as American winners in the 100 back.
Australia’s Emily Seebohm, who scratched finals of the 200 IM to focus on this event, looks to have made the right move with a 59.38 to qualify second. USA’s Elizabeth Pelton checked in with a third-seeded time of 59.44 as the U.S. will be gunning for an impressive 1-2 in the finale.
Japan’s Aya Terakawa (59.80), China’s Fu Yuanhui (59.82), Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina (59.90), Czech’s Simona Baumrtova (59.99) and Australia’s Belinda Hocking (1:00.24) also earned spots in the final. Remember when breaking a 1:00 used to be jaw-dropping just a few years back?