OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Missy Franklin is heading to the Olympics, pushing to the wall with a stunning finish to win the 100-meter backstroke at the U.S. Olympic trials and deny Natalie Coughlin a chance to defend her title in London.
The 17-year-old Franklin signaled a changing of the guard in the event Coughlin won at the last two Olympics. Coming back just 20 minutes after the semifinals of the 200 freestyle, she chased down Coughlin on the return lap to win with an American record of 58.85 seconds.
Coughlin started strong and was under world-record pace at the turn. But the 29-year-old couldn't hold off two teenagers. Eighteen-year-old Rachel Bootsma got past the 11-time Olympic medalist, as well, claiming the second Olympic spot in 59.49. Coughlin was third in 1 minute, 0.06 seconds.