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BARCELONA, Spain, July 29. OLYMPIC darling Missy Franklin, who has a daunting schedule of eight events this week, is looking to set up her second gold of the FINA World Championships thus far with a strong outing in the women’s 100-meter backstroke.
Franklin also hopes to make some history as she could become the only woman ever to back up an Olympic victory in this event with a triumph in the 100 back the following year at Worlds. She took care of what she needed to do to advance to semis as she blasted a 59.13 in prelims, going out in 29.06 and coming home in 30.07. She’s likely to clear 59 seconds in semis, as she already has a world-leading 58.67 from U.S. Nationals earlier this summer.
Meanwhile, Katinka Hosszu Hosszu’s time of 59.40 made her the first Hungarian to break 1:00 as she downed her national record of 1:00.24 set at the Irish Championships in April of this year. That performance lowered the legendary Krisztina Egerszegi’s record, and put Hosszu in line for another final. Her swim today vaulted her to fifth in the world rankings.
Hosszu may not pull off a potential eight gold run like Franklin, but she’s still one of the most versatile female swimmers this planet has ever seen when it comes to the amount of events in which she could potentially medal. The scary thing about Hosszu is that if given enough time, she probably could medal in every single event on the schedule.
Hosszu, however, had seen enough in terms of the 100 back, and told Swimming World after her swim that she was scratching the 100 back the rest of the way to focus on the rest of her daunting schedule.
Franklin’s future California Golden Bear teammate Elizabeth Pelton also served up a sub-1:00 in prelims with a 59.94 for the third seed. She’s already been a fourth-ranked 59.27 this year at nationals and Team USA will be gunning for a 1-2 finish in the event.
China’s Fu Yuanhui, currently ranked sixth in the world with a 59.56, qualified fourth in 1:00.01, while Australia’s Emily Seebohm, raced to fifth in 1:00.02 after scratching the 200 IM finals to focus on this event.
Czech’s Simona Baumrtova (1:00.05), Japan’s Aya Terakawa (1:00.09) and Canada’s Sinead Russell (1:00.17) comprised the rest of the top eight out of prelims.
Meanwhile Australia’s Belinda Hocking (1:00.39), Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina (1:00.43), France’s Cloe Credeville (1:00.70), Spain’s Duane Da Rocha Marce (1:00.80), China’s Zhou Yanxin (1:00.99), Spain’s Mercedes Peris Minguet (1:01.19), Great Britain’s Lauren Quigley (1:01.23) and South Africa’s Karin Prinsloo (1:01.25) also made the semifinals with Kimberly Buys moving into the top 16 with a 1:01.35 after Hosszu’s intended scratch.