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Phelpsian load for Franklin at Worlds

Rebecca Soni is taking the year off. Allison Schmitt didn’t qualify. Still, with teenagers Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky leading the way, the United States women’s swim team has lofty goals at the world championships, where the traditional pool events start Sunday.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2013 01:29 IST

Rebecca Soni is taking the year off. Allison Schmitt didn’t qualify. Still, with teenagers Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky leading the way, the United States women’s swim team has lofty goals at the world championships, where the traditional pool events start Sunday.

“Yes, we don’t have Rebecca or Allison, but Missy and Ledecky are here, and Breeja Larson is starting to come into her own. And then we’ve got veterans like Dana Vollmer and Natalie Coughlin. So it’s a pretty good mix of young swimmers and veterans,” US women’s coach Dave Salo said on Tuesday.

“I think we’re still real solid and we’re going to do some damage on the podium.”

Expect Franklin to do a big chunk of that damage. She’s planning to swim a Michael Phelps-like load of eight events inside the Palau Sant Jordi, the arena where Phelps first swam an extensive program a decade ago at the last worlds in Barcelona.

That’s one more event than Franklin swam at last year’s London Games, when she won four golds and a bronze. Her schedule this time includes the 100- and 200-meter freestyle, all three backstroke events - 50, 100 and 200 - and all three relays.

“It is a big load, but she had a big preparation for that in London, and I think she’s able to handle it,” Salo said. “And we have people to help on the relay prelims, so that will give her a chance to rest a bit.”

No swimmer - male or female - has ever won eight golds at a world championships. Phelps, of course, won a record eight at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Thorpe not ready to write off Rio hopes
SYDNEY: Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe has not ruled out a crack at competing at the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 despite not qualifying for last year’s London Games.

The five-times Olympic champion, who made his Olympic debut as a teenager at Sydney in 2000 and will be nearly 34 by the time Rio comes around, is back in training under Russian coach Gennadi Touretski in Europe.

“I am pretty old but to be honest, I haven’t made a decision about another Olympics,” Thorpe told News Ltd after a fundraiser for the Lifeline this week.