Missy Franklin, Matt Grevers won't swim the 100m backstroke in Rio
Neither Missy Franklin nor Natalie Coughlin - responsible for the U.S.' dominance in the 100m backstroke for the previous three Olympic Games - will swim the event at the Rio Olympics. Instead, Olivia Smoliga and Kathleen Baker took the top two spots at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials from Omaha on Tuesday. Smoliga clocked 59.02 seconds while Baker raced to 59.29. Franklin finished seventh in 1:00.24 and Coughlin was last in 1:00.48.
The men's 100m backstroke gold medalist, Matt Grevers, won’t swim the event in Rio, either. Instead, Ryan Murphy and 2013 Worlds silver medalist David Plummer reached the wall first in Tuesday's final, in 52.26 and 52.28, respectively. Grevers was third in 52.76.
Later Tuesday, Townley Haas won the 200m freestyle final one one-hundredth of a second ahead of Olympian Conor Dwyer to earn a berth to Rio. Haas clocked 1:45.66 to Dwyer’s 1:45.67.
Rounding out the top four were Jack Conger in 1:45.77 and Ryan Lochte in 1:46.62. Lochte, who stunningly did not qualify in the 400m individual medley on Sunday night, earned his trip to Rio.
2012 Olympian Tyler Clary was seventh in 1:47.78. Typically, the top six men head to the Games to fill out the spots on the 4x200m freestyle relay.
Lilly King and Katie Meili finished first and second in the 100m breaststroke final in 1:05.20 and 1:06.07, respectively. The Rio Olympics will be King’s and Meili’s first appearance in the Games. 2012 Olympians Breeja Larson and Jessica Hardy were fourth (1:07.53) and sixth (1:07.73), respectively.
Katie Ledecky, Franklin and Allison Schmitt all advanced to the final of the 200m freestyle. Ledecky raced to one minute, 55.10 seconds to easily win her semifinal heat. She is the 2015 world champion in the event. It took Ledecky 1:55.16 to win the world championship title in 2015.
Franklin, Schmitt and Leah Smith dueled in their semifinal heat, with Smith beating both Franklin and Schmitt to the wall. Smith clocked 1:56.73 to Schmitt’s 1:57.05, followed by Franklin’s 1:57.33. Franklin won the 2013 World title in the event while Schmitt is the reigning Olympic gold medalist. It took Franklin 1:54.81 to win the 2013 World title and Schmitt won the Olympic title with 1:53.61.
Only two of the U.S.’ three 200m freestyle superstars will swim the event individually in Rio. The other will be a relay-only swimmer in the event, in addition to their other event workloads.
Only two of the three 200m freestyle superstars from the U.S. superstars will swim the event individually in Rio.
Michael Phelps handily won the 200m butterfly semifinal in 1:55.17 to advance as the top seed to Wednesday’s final. Training partner Chase Kalisz, who won the 400m IM over Lochte on Sunday to earn a spot on the Rio squad, was third in the other semifinal to also advance in fourth.
Clary finished last in that heat of the event and did not advance to Wednesday’s final.
To close the night, Maya DiRado advanced to the 200m individual medley final with the top time: 2:10.09. 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Caitlin Leverenz won her heat in 2:11.42, good enough for fourth.
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