Swimming : Rio a relief after U.S. trials, says Franklin

Wed Aug 3, 2016 7:58pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The U.S. trials proved a trial indeed for Missy Franklin but swimming's golden girl of London 2012 believes she can be back to her best at the Rio Olympics.

Franklin set records on her way to four golds and a bronze medal at her first Games, but the 21-year-old qualified in just two individual events -- the 200 meters freestyle and 200 backstroke -- at the trials in Omaha.

That did not include the 100 meter backstroke, one of her Olympic titles.

Despite that, she is still smiling.

"I've felt for the past several months that I am in the best shape I have ever been in," Franklin told a news conference on Wednesday.

"I think trials was just a very different experience for me and I think I wasn't really prepared for the emotional aspect of it...coming in this year I think I felt the pressure a lot more than I ever have before.

"I've normally been able to handle that really well and that was something that I really struggled with at trials," she added.

With that ordeal over, and many swimmers have commented over the years how the process is every bit as pressured as an Olympic final, Franklin said she had a fresh surge of confidence.   Continued...

USA swimmer Missy Franklin speaks during a press conference at the MPC Samba Room prior to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports