Missy Franklin To Return To Competition at Mare Nostrum Series

Missy Franklin. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Dan D’Addona.

Missy Franklin is making her return to competitive swimming.

The Olympic gold medalist is entered to swim at the Mare Nostrum Series next week with meets in France, Spain and Monaco, according to the preliminary entry sheet released by the mare Nostrum Series. Sources close to Franklin confirmed she is planning to compete in all three series stops.

Franklin has not competed since the 2016 Rio Olympics. She missed all of 2017 after undergoing surgery on both shoulders.

It also will be her first competition since moving from Cal to Georgia to train with Jack Bauerle.

Franklin, who recently turned 23, is continuing to pursue her degree in psychology at Georgia, and she is three semesters away from graduating. She told the Associated Press that she is targeting a return to competition, with the focus on this summer’s U.S. Nationals in Irvine, Calif.

“School went absolutely great. She’s enjoying the training right now,” Bauerle said. “I love having her on a day-to-day basis in the program. This summer, it’s been two years since she raced, so this is going to be a little unusual, her first time out.”

It was anticipated that she would compete in a smaller meet before nationals, perhaps a TYR Pro Swim Series event, but her first meets will be internationally.

“I’m kind of coming back from the bottom,” she told the AP. “I could feel pressure because people are expecting a comeback, but I don’t care. I don’t really care what kind of pressure people are putting on me because I can’t control that.”

In her last major event, the Rio Olympics, Franklin won gold as a prelims member of the 800 free relay and didn’t medal in her individual events.

She has recently opened up about her battle with depression after Rio and the toll being at the top of the sport took on her following her four gold medals in London, competing for Cal and going pro in preparation for Rio.

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Author: Daniel D'Addona

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Dan D'Addona is the lead college swim writer for Swimming World. He has covered swimming at all levels since 2003, including the NCAA championships, USA nationals, Duel in the Pool and Olympic trials. He is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a graduate of Central Michigan University. He currently lives in Holland, Michigan, where he also is the Sports Editor at The Holland Sentinel.

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