In post-race comments on Thursday morning at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, American swimmer Missy Franklin says that she has decided to swim both the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke finals.
In post-race comments, Franklin described her ongoing back spasm issue as a “little bit of discomfort,” but that she is going to race both finals anyway. That’s despite, in the 200 free, having no medals on the line, as she was the 3rd-fastest American finisher and thus will be in the B-Final (only two per country can swim in the A-Final).
Franklin does have a pragmatic reason to stay in that race, however. She has to defend her spot at Worlds. Pan Pacs prelims times do not count for Worlds qualifying, but if Shannon Vreeland were to beat Franklin’s 1:56.40 from Nationals in the A-Final, and Franklin’s B-Final swim wasn’t faster than Vreeland’s A-Final swim, than Vreeland would get the individual spot for Worlds alongside the presumed Katie Ledecky nomination. Ledecky’s 1:55.16 from Nationals looks golden right now, if she doesn’t improve it in the final, but Vreeland is capable of a 1:56.40.
Then Franklin will swim in the A-Final of the 100 backstroke, where she’ll be challenged by Australians Emily Seebohm and Belinda Hocking, the top two seeds after prelims.
Franklin also explained how she hurt her back in the first place, which was on a backstroke start. Her backstroke start has never been very good, but she seemed to really struggle on it in prelims of the 100 meter race – perhaps a sign of some timidness there. She did more than enough to final, though, and with that out of the way will have a touch more confidence in finals.