February 27, 2017
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Rio Olympic 2016 Swimming Trials for USA Stars Omaha

Rio Olympic 2016 Swimming Trials for USA Stars Omaha 

Rio Olympic 2016 Swimming Trials for USA Stars Omaha 

Rio Olympic 2016 Swimming Trials for USA Stars Omaha

Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte are two of the big name Olympians who have failed to qualify for Rio 2016 in some of their signature individual events

After three days of the USA Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, one thing has become very clear: we are going to be seeing some new faces at the medal ceremonies of Rio 2016. On third day of the event on Tuesday (28 June), the reigning Olympic champion in the women’s 100m backstroke, Missy Franklin, could only finish seventh. The two qualifying places went to 21-year-old race winner Olivia Smoliga and second placed Kathleen Baker. Natalie Coughlin, champion in the event at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 but now 33 years old, finished back in eighth. At Omaha, only the top two finishers qualify for Rio in the individual events. “It’s like a new wave of people are coming in,” Smoliga said after her victory. Rio 2016 will be her first Olympic Games. “It’s not out with the old, it’s in with the new.”

‘Missy the Missile’ still has other chances to book her ticket to Rio, among them the 200m freestyle final on Wednesday. She will also be competing in the 100m freestyle and 200m backstroke. Coughlin will also be racing in the 100m freestyle. “The point of this meet is to be the best of the best, and the best of the best is Olivia Smoliga and Kathleen Baker,” Franklin said. “They’re going to represent us the best way possible and I’m incredibly proud of them.” Youth wins out Established names have also fallen out of contention for Rio in the men’s individual events. Matt Grevers, gold in the 100m backstroke at London 2012, could only finish third in Omaha, behind Ryan Murphy and David Plummer. The 31-year-old Grevers still has a chance to compete in the relay events, in what would be his third Olympic Games. “My heart breaks for (Grevers),” 20-year-old race winner Murphy said. “He’s been dominant in that event for so long. Just wasn’t his night. He’s going to come back with a vengeance. “Sometimes, youth wins out and that was the case tonight. To be able to call myself an Olympian, that’s just a dream come true.” In the 200m men’s freestyle, teenager Townley Haas was a surprise winner, ahead of 2012 Olympian Conor Dwyer and multiple Olympic medallist Ryan Lochte. Lochte and Dwyer both finished high enough to win places in the 4x200m relay in Rio.


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