Missy Franklin Talks About Swimming Through Back “Discomfort,” Decision to Swim In Finals

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GOLD COAST, Australia, August 21. DESPITE not feeling 100 percent about 36 hours after experiencing back spasms, Missy Franklin competed in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke heats on the first day of the Pan Pacific championships.

Franklin qualified for the B final in the 200 freestyle due to the meet rule that only two swimmers per country can qualify for the A final. She qualified for the A final a few minutes later in the 100 backstroke.

USA Swimming released a series of quotes from Franklin after her swims, and it’s notable that Franklin will swim both events tonight in finals.

Franklin’s thoughts on her prelim swims:
I would consider this morning a success. I’m really happy that I swam both events. Maybe my times weren’t exactly where I wanted them to be this morning, but in relative terms I’m happy with where they are.

I was able to get out there and race, which is what I wanted to do. There’s definitely some discomfort still, but it’s getting much, much better day by day. I have an amazing staff that’s working with me and I’m definitely keeping my head held high.

On the decision to race this morning:
I was able to swim a little bit yesterday, and that felt really good to get back into the pool. I think we were definitely going to see how warmup went this morning, and after this morning I really felt like I could tough it out and do both. I’m really happy that I did that. Definitely not the easiest day. I think this is my hardest day, so timing didn’t work out too well. I had a good amount of warmdown in between my 200 free and 100 back and just did what I had to do this morning.

Most challenging part of the swims:
I think the scariest part for me was probably my starts, because my backstroke start is what set it off originally. I was a little worried (that) I hadn’t done one since that incident, but everything went OK this morning. I was able to get up and get out. You are just going to take it one step at a time, and those went OK.

Franklin on planning to swim both races in finals:
My coach and I decided that we are going to do both tonight. Even though there is that little bit of discomfort I figured, “Heck, why not!” I’m just going to go for it. We’ll see what happens. I have some really tough competition, but regardless of what happens I want to know that I went out there and I fought for it. If I do that, then I’ll be able to sleep regardless of the time.