17-year Old Missy Franklin Sets U.S. Record in Backstroke; Qualifies for 2012 London Olympics

By David LaRose

Missy Franklin qualified for the 2012 Olympics yesterday at the Olmpic trials by setting a new American record in the 100-meter backstroke in 58.85 seconds. Even more impressive is that she set the record just 18 minutes after qualifying for the 200-meter freestyle finals.

And she did it all at the age of 17.

Franklin is a rising senior at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado and she is one of the best women swimmers that will compete in London this summer. It does not matter that she is only 17 years old, she’s that good and is the next big thing in women’s swimming.

This will be Franklin’s first Olympic team berth but it’s not the first time that she will be competing on the international level and dominating in the process. Last year at the World Aquatic Championships she medaled five times (three gold, one silver, one bronze) and currently has multiple records in her name (WR in 200-meter backstroke and US Record in 100 and 200-meter backstroke). She was also named the FINA Swimmer of the Year in 2011.

This summer she will be one of the athletes that America falls in love with, not just because of her young age, but because she will be the best to enter the pool and will likely bring home plenty of medals for the USA. It seems as though Missy Franklin has overtaken Natalie Coughlin as the best female swimmer in the world and she will get her chance to prove it this summer in London.

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