Missy Franklin Finishes Last In 200m Freestyle Rio Debut

Missy Franklin Finishes Last In 200m Freestyle Rio Debut

RIO DE JANEIRO-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.

Ledecky is a natural-born competitor who is always striving to clinch her next win.

It was the clearest sign yet of the changing of the guard on the USA women's swim team.

Franklin was the darling of the London Games, a high schooler who captured four gold medals and the hearts of everyone back home with her bubbly personality.

The 19-year-old Washington, D.C., native amazed in her global debut four years ago at the 2012 London Games, winning gold in the 800-meter freestyle.

Now, it's Ledecky who is poised to be the biggest women's star in Rio.

"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.

Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden won silver, with Emma McKeon of Australia winning bronze. She has a wonderful family, has everything, really, that she wants; she's a attractive person with seemingly no dark sides. She can't afford a drop off of more than 0.70 seconds the second 50. "I think if I go out there and do my best, my whole team is going to know that. But when I saw they had a viewing party at the ARC, I wished we were in Williston".

"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".

Her best at the moment isn't anywhere close to the form she showed four years ago.

She could become the first woman since Debbie Meyer in Mexico City in 1968 to sweep the 200m, 400m and 800m free at the Games, and will be a contender with the U.S. team in the 4x200m free.

Her first race of the Olympics gave scant evidence that she's suddenly regained her speed over the past month. Franklin finished 12th out of 16, advancing to Monday night's semifinals.

When Ledecky dominated the 400 freestyle Sunday night, August 7, to earn an Olympic gold medal, there was plenty of celebrating in North Dakota.

Phelps, who celebrated the 19th Olympic gold of his career in Sunday's 4x100m relay, faces more of a battle as he chases what would be his first individual medal of these Games. If you look at some of their performances, when they didn't perform in their first race or two, they just mailed it in and some of them left.

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