Tearful Franklin laments finishing 'so far behind'

Mon Aug 8, 2016 10:52pm EDT
 
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By Mary Milliken

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - If there is anything that could wipe the smile off the face of the obstinately upbeat American swimmer Missy Franklin, it is a 13th place in a semi-final for the four-time Olympic champion.

Swimming's golden girl of the 2012 London Games not only lost her smile, she broke down in tears after a dreadful showing in the women's 200 meters freestyle on Monday that dashed her hopes for a place in the final.

"It's so hard, knowing all the hard work you put in and then to get here and be so far behind," the 21-year-old said, minutes after leaving the Rio pool.

"I'm just so disappointed that I feel like I left my team down," she added.

It was a tremendous reversal four years after Franklin dazzled London, not just with her record-breaking swimming but also with her goofy teenage ways and utterly winning personality.

Franklin set records on her way to four golds and a bronze medal at her first Games. But for Rio 2016, she qualified in just two individual events - the 200 meters freestyle and 200 meters backstroke - at the trials in Omaha.

And she missed out completely on the 100 meters backstroke, one of her Olympic titles.

"I hope I still get a chance to be on that 4x200 freestyle relay, that would mean the world to me, and then I have the 200 backstroke," she said."I am not done yet, I need to keep my head up and I need to keep fighting and that is what I am going to do."   Continued...

 
2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Semifinal - Women's 200m Freestyle Semifinals - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 08/08/2016. Missy Franklin (USA) of USA prepares for her semifinal. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler