champion Franklin fails to make 200 meter freestyle final
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[August 21, 2014]
(Reuters) - World champion Missy
Franklin failed to make the 200 meters freestyle final at the Pan
Pacific swimming championships on Australia's Gold Coast, despite
setting the fourth-fastest time in Thursday's qualifying.
The 19-year-old American, who has been struggling with back
spasms in the lead-up to the four-day meet, clocked one minute,
57.63 seconds in her morning heat.
But she was ruled out of the final, to be held Thursday night,
because she was the third fastest American and under the rules of
the competition, only two swimmers from each country can contest the
Franklin's team mate Katie Ledecky, who has set three world records
in freestyle swimming in the last two months, was the top qualifier
Australia's Melanie Schlanger was second-fastest in 1:57.16 while
Shannon Vreeland finished third overall in 1:57.40, knocking
Franklin out of the final.
Franklin did however rebound to qualify safely for the 100m
backstroke final, one of two individual events she won at the 2012
She was third-fastest overall behind Australia's Emily Seebohm, who
was the only woman to dip under one minute.
Seebohm finished in 59.72 seconds, while her Australian team mate
Belinda Hocking was second fastest in 1:00.46. Franklin was 0.14
seconds further back.
[to top of second column]
"There is still some discomfort but it is getting much, much better day by
day," Franklin said.
Michael Phelps, competing in his first international meet since retiring
after London, was scheduled to make his first appearance on Friday.
(The story was refiled to fix the spelling of Vreeland in fifth
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Julian Linden)
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