Missy Franklin Makes Competitive Return in Canet Day 1 Prelims


Saturday morning in Canet, France, 23-year old American swimmer Missy Franklin swam her first races since the 2016 Olympic Games in the opening session of the Mare Nostrum Series.

Fittingly, her first race back was the event that stands out among a long list of events where she’s had success: the 200 backstroke, where she’s the current World Record holder.

In that event, Frankin swam a 2:13.61, which qualified her 5th in the event through to finals, behind top-seeded Katinka Hosszu, who herself is making her way back from an extended competition break that didn’t see her race for almost 6 months.

200 Back, Top 5 from Prelims

  1. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary – 2:11.21
  2. Daria K. Ustinova, Russia – 2:11.60
  3. Taylor Ruck, Canada – 2:11.86
  4. Chloe Golding, Great Britain, 2:12.80
  5. Missy Franklin, USA – 2:13.61

Franklin’s 200 back splits:

  • 31.77
  • 33.37 (1:05.14)
  • 34.25
  • 34.22 (1:08.47)

In her follow-up, Franklin qualified 9th in the 200 free in 2:00.51, behind top-qualifying Charlotte Bonnet of France (and also a new revelation 17-year old Ajna Kesely of Hungary in 1:58.53). That swim puts Franklin into the B-Final, albeit a capable B-Final with international-caliber swimmers like Daria Ustinova and American junior Brooke Forde.

Franklin’s 200 free splits:

  • 28.46
  • 30.46 (58.92)
  • 31.16
  • 30.43 (1:01.59)
  • TOTAL TIME: 2:00.51

Contextualizing these swims are a tricky game, because prior to 2016, Franklin was arguably the best female swimmer in the world and with little argument the best in the world at these events. In spite of two shoulder surgeries, Franklin is still physically-built to be a world-class swimmer at 6’2″ tall, and even moving across the country to train at Georgia, she’s still working with a world-class coach Jack Bauerle who has trained more World and Olympic Champions than most. So, it would have been unlikely for Franklin to show up at her first meet back and lay a total egg.

In 2016, her last full season of racing, she was 1:59.99 in the 200 free at the prelims of the Longhorn Aquatics Elite Invite, a meet timed similarly to this one. She dropped to a 1:57.78 in finals. She was 2:11.46 in prelims of the 200 back at that same meet, and improved to 2:09.45 in finals.

But the circumstances this year are very different, given what Franklin has been through over the last 2 years. Primarily, it’s good to see her back in the water and battling elite international fields. Importantly, they’re qualifying times for this summer’s National Championships (yes, even 5-time Olympic gold medalists and 11-time World Champions have to hit qualifying times) that Franklin didn’t previously have.

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1:58.91 in the b final of the 200 free! I would say she’s back to at least fighting form and certainly has a shot for the 4×200 free relay.

bobo gigi

Very encouraging. Now let’s see her 200 back final. Around 2 hours after the 200 free.


Currently 6 swimmers who are competing for the fifth and the sixth spot on 4×200 relay are within 0.4sec interval. From 1:58.71 of Mallory Comerford to 1:59.11 of Claire Tuggle.


We know the cut line for 6th will be right around 1:57.00. I would put Missy under that the only way she misses is if she goes too slow in the semi finals and finishes 9th or worse. Ledecky Smith Margalis comerford Missy and Katie M. That would be my picks right now


Have You excluded Simone Manuel because she doesn’t want it or because she can’t do it? Currently she is #3 with 1:58.06


There is only room for six. She doesn’t make it unless she fully rests for the meet. I don’t think she will.


I’d love to see her go 2:11 in back and 1:58 mid in free. She may have more in the tank but who really knows how she’s been training these past few months. Nice prelim swims after 2 years off!

bobo gigi

Looks like there’s no TV live broadcast this year. I used to watch those Mare Nostrum meets on Bein Sports. Football everywhere. Sorry. I should say soccer.

bobo gigi

I already have a football/soccer indigestion….


Soccer will do that to you


Olympic channel has day 2 on it

bobo gigi

No olympic channel here in France. 🙂

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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