Missy Franklin fades out as Allison Schmitt stays the course
Wednesday 01 August 2012
Missy Franklin never took up Michael Phelps' offer of advice on how to endure the brutal realities of handling an exhausting multi-medal programme. It might have been worthwhile as the 17-year-old last night found herself swum out of the medals in the 200m freestyle.
Instead it is her compatriot Allison Schmitt who is setting the standard in the US women's team. Schmitt took gold for her third medal of the Games – Franklin finished fourth and now has a gold and a bronze with three events still to swim. She will win more medals, certainly in the medley relay, but this has been a demanding start. Phelps had texted her suggesting she get in touch if she wanted any help, but Franklin was happy with the support she has been receiving from within the women's team.
For the strapping 6ft 1in Schmitt, a former training partner of Phelps in Michigan, it continues to be a rewarding meet. She took silver ahead of Rebecca Adlington in the 400m free and last night led from start to finish to set a new Olympic and US record. The silver went to Camille Muffat, the gold medallist in the 400m, for another French medal – the tricolour is becoming a familiar sight in the Aquatics Centre. Bronte Barratt of Australia won bronze, while Britain's Caitlin McClatchey finished seventh. She is one British swimmer who can certainly be more than satisfied with her performance.
James Magnussen will return to the pool tonight as narrow favourite for a first Olympic gold in the 100m freestyle. The Missile is Australia's big hope among a young men's team. The 20-year-old has talked up his chances over the last few months and duly qualified quickest ahead of the American Nathan Adrian. Yannick Agnel, the Frenchman with two golds to his name already, will also be a threat.
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