Bouncing back from a huge disappointment, Missy Franklin has qualified for the Rio Olympics with a second-place finish in the 200-meter freestyle at the U.S. swimming trials.
Franklin sounded as though she’d be happy just getting on the team as a relay swimmer.
Turns out, she’ll be busier than that in Brazil.
While Katie Ledecky romped to victory in the 200 free, earning a second individual event at the Olympics, Franklin rallied over the second half of the race to claim the runner-up spot.
Ledecky touched in 1:54.88, following up her easy victory in the 400 free.
Franklin’s coach, Todd Schmitz, pumped his fists and charged down the steps of the arena to congratulate his bubbly swimmer, one of the biggest stars of the London Games.
She finally had reason to smile.
“Last night was really tough and coming back from that, I was telling myself, ‘I’m not done fighting. I’m not done with believing in myself,’” Franklin said. “That’s probably the most proud race I’ve ever swam in my entire career, coming back from such a loss last night and telling myself that I still have it in me to do whatever I believe I can do.”
Franklin touched in 1:56.18, edging out Leah Smith by just under a half-second. Allison Schmitt, the defending gold medalist, settled for fourth but that will at least be good enough to get another star from the London Games on the team as a relay swimmer.