USA Swimming is taking a “wait and see” approach to Missy Franklin’s first day of competition at the 2014 Pan Pac Championships, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Sportsnet Canada released a video of Franklin suffering from back spasms at a Team USA training session, after which Franklin Tweeted that she was already feeling better.
Improvements appear to have continued through Wednesday. According to USA Swimming, on Wednesday afternoon, Franklin took in a training session to test her back and experienced “minimal discomfort.”
“It was very therapeutic and felt great being back in the water,” Franklin said of the session.
USA Swimming was not ready, though, to declare her fit for competition when the meet begins on Thursday morning on the Gold Coast (late Wednesday night in the United States).
“Her status for the scheduled 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke will be determined prior to preliminary heats on Thursday morning,” the organization’s official statement said.
“First of all, I have to thank our medical team for their amazing work and also my teammates, coaches, staff and fans for all their heartfelt support. I am feeling drastically better every hour that goes by and hoping and praying that I will be ready to race tomorrow. We will consistently coordinate with team doctors and staff to make the best decisions for myself and my team.”
So far, Franklin is still listed on heat sheets for the meet’s first day. Her potential schedule for the entire meet:
- Day 1: 100 back, 200 free
- Day 2: 100 free, 800 free relay
- Day 3: 200 back, 400 free relay
- Day 4: 400 medley relay
Looking beyond this meet, even without consideration of whether the back spasms become a long-term concern for Franklin, she still has to fight off her competition for spots on the World Championships team. Her times from Nationals were far from her bests and are by no means “safe” from challenge by her American teammates. While the 100 free and the 100 back seem like they probably would put her safely into individual swims at Worlds (taken from the top two at Pan Pacs and Nationals), the 200 free and especially the 200 back are dicier bets.