Path to Solo Global Gold for Emily Seebohm Goes Through USA & Franklin

One of the only things missing from Emily Seebohm’s resume is solo gold at the Olympic Games or World Championships. To fill that void, the Aussie will likely have to go through Missy Franklin in the 100 backstroke.

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One of the only things missing from Emily Seebohm’s resume is solo gold at the Olympic Games or World Championships. To fill that void, the Aussie will likely have to go through Missy Franklin in the 100 backstroke.



Seebohm was the first female swimmer to have gone under 2:10 in 200 IM in textile (note: I discounted Lin Li’s WR) when she won 200 IM 2010 Pan Pacs.

Unfortunately many Australian swimmer still have not mastered the art of peaking at the absolute right time (ie. the finals of olympics or worlds).

Talent-wise, she obviously can defeat Franklin. At the age of 15, she swam the third fastest 100 back in 2007 worlds’ 4x100MR, and in 2008 Beijing at 16, her relay leg was faster than the individual bronze medalist.

And in 2011 where it would have been best chance to win worlds, she was was so sick.

It just seems that Seebohm has the bad luck of swimming her best at the not so important times, or illness that derailed her.

Craig Lord

Such things are rarely bad luck aswimfan. Emily S was at her very best at London2012, her heats 100 a peak moment. The final result for all includes that tiny and huge variable called handling the moment of an Olympic final. Emily S handled it well and took silver. Missy F handled it that touch better. That’s world-class sport, not luck


Whilst only one quarter of the Aussie swim team improved their times for trials to Olympics in 2012 (compared to 3/4 for USA) Emily was well prepared, evidenced by her heat swims. Unfortunately she was not alone in failing to improve from heats through finals. Eamon Sullivan failed to reproduce his WR relay leg swim, and Hackett fails to match or better his semi swim. They were three Aussie golds that could have come our way had those three swimmers matched their earlier efforts,


aswimfan, LOL. You’re getting obvious. I know Team Australia can go no wrong for you and not to mention the anti-American sentiment. I can smell it, even from far away. Bleh.

There’s no way luck is part of it. Seebohm almost broke that WR in the semis in London but crumbled under pressure in the finals.

If Franklin can’t get back to her old form, I think Seebohm will be the favorite. I think the motivation is there.



What is “anti-american” about my post above?

I did not even mention the word america, or USA or even mentioned any American swimmers.

Are you reading things right or are you really alright?

“No way luck is part of it”? So Seebohm’s illness was not a bad luck?
Well, you just hope and pray that none of your favorite swimmers will not fall for terrible injuries or illnesses before Worlds or Olympics then.

I am concerned that reading comprehension is not your strength.


I don’t think she ‘crumbled’ in London on 58.68, beaten in an epic final of outstanding quality. Both she and Franklin peaked in London.
Great to see Emily’s longevity may eventually take her to the top step. She does have 2 Olympic Golds already.


Craig Lord,

Seebohm did not handle 2012 London final well.
As have been written in the media based on Seebohm’s own admission, she was obsessed following social media before and during London, and she stated she was affected by what people wrote about her and her swim during preloms all the way to final. That’s why everyone could see she was devastated and crying after final and medal presentation when she finished second.


I tend not to think so much in terms of medals in olympics or world championships, etc. What is exciting about Ms. Seebohm (and Ms. Franklin, and perhaps others) is that they’re challenging Gemma Spofforth’s world record from the time of special suits. And, who knows, maybe even drop under 58s! Like the article says, Ms. Seebohm is a very reliable relay swimmer, as well as a very competent 200m medley performer. I would think that it is the 200m backstroke where she’s still has to find/adopt a winning racing strategy.

Bad Anon

Missy Franklin is a great racer.her best times come in championship finals. coughlin too in 2008 was able to beat coventry in the 100back final despite losing the wr in the semis. unfortunately medals are only awarded in the finals….


aswimfan, keep denying it. You don’t like the great US because they will (most of the time) kick Aussie’s b*tts in the biggest events like the Olympics and the World Championships. For you, American swimmers are not legit because they’re cheaters. As if the Aussie’s are saints.

(pol, edited last sentence out – we don’t need to be personal, thanks)

Bad Anon

Seebohm was always a fast in season swimmer and leading up to london2012 many thought she had plateaued. her 58.23heat swim was a surprise ; and her loss to franklin quite upsetting for aussie swim fans

Bad Anon

On moving up to 200 backstroke; Seebohm increased her chances of winning another individual medal as well @ olympics. she has a best of 2.07 or so… she’ll be in the mix both kazan/rio in the 200back as well albeit with stiff competition from the Canadian ladies and the Americans ofcourse

Craig Lord

Yes, aswimfan, that may all be true but nothing of that has anything to do with luck… that was my point.


Bad Anon; the situation with W200BK in AUS looks somewhat fluid. Hocking has been the “prime contender” since Beijing with Nay slightly behind but still usually making major world finals. Whilst there’s been no sightings of Hocking so far this season; at this point she has to remain top pick going into Trials. Nay was ruled out with injury during last year; will she be returning ? Seebohm had been a 2.08 prior to last year but her 2.07 is clearly a step forward albeit 2014 being a distinctly non-vintage year for this event. Madi Wilson may be the new major factor in AUS female backstroke over both distances.

As for Seebohm in London; her performance in the final could hardly be considered “a choke”. Her real substandard swim was actually in the medley relay where she didn’t break 59 after 3 sub 59s in the individual event. Early in her career, her relay swims were often superior to her individual but this has reversed over the past few years with some comparatively mediocre relay legs in major event finals.

Pol, FYI “aswimfan” is not an Australian. You may have them mixed up with another poster who uses the tag “auswimfan”; something I have done in the past.

Bad Anon

Coughlin comes to mind ad one of the swimmers who consistently swam faster 100back on the medley relay than the individual; beijing 08 and shanghai 11 being good examples


If you want to talk about Aussies who have had horrible luck, Nay probably fits that category better than Seebholm, who seems more to be reminding me of Lisel Jones when it comes to WC/Olympic performance- such a huge talent who is just never quite as good there as it seems like she should be.

Mie Nielsen seems to have decided that Florida would be a nice short break from Denmark gloomy winter days and is entered in the Orlando Grand Prix meet. Be interesting to see if she’s about to remind us that the women’s backstrokes are far from a two country affair.

Personal Best

Seebohm’s focus on the 200 back is interesting to follow, where it is delivering PBs for her.

Her 100 free (after a peak of 53.96) and her 200 IM both have plateaued since 2010, but looks like her focus may be on the 200 back instead.

Perhaps that is helping with her 100 back, especially her closing speed.
She’s still one of the most consistent backstrokers of the past few years.

And pol… you got aswimfan wrong… he’s certainly not anti-american, nor is he Aussie.


aswimfan, is anti-USA because she/he hates the fact that most American swimmers are the best. He/She couldn’t handle it, and thinks that they cheated. That’s why he/she still believe that Ledecky is doped.

Bill Bell

Seebohm’s certainly got the speed/talent to go 57+ this smmer or next but it’s a question of holding up under pressure in the finals, which she has yet to do @ Worlds or Olympics.

Don’t count out the London 100-200 back gold-medalist just yet. She had a so-so season her first season @ Berserkeley but so did Pelton last year.

If they’re back in top form this year it’ll be a fight for the “minir”places as this site’s ebmaster calls them w/USA on the top step of the podium.

Even the GOAT (Phelps) had an “off year” now and again but when it counted (save for London fly loss, which was a fluke to end ALL flukes!) he was well neigh unbeatable.

Australia’s problem is that they hold their Trials too early. They ought to move ’em back to late June-early July even if that is their winter. Pick a team in April and you’re doomed in late July-early August as a certain Mr. Holland can fully attest (among others).

But by the same token whoever the “Brane Surjin” is/was who decided the U.S. should select its team to Kazan a year out id is country no favors either.

That’s about as smart as suspending your best swimmer for six months to “set an example” and bar him from the Worlds team.



I think you are getting way off base and personal.

In fact, may of may favorite swimmers are americans: Mary Meagher, Missy Franklin (yes, the top competitor for Seebohm, who is not really my favorite swimmer), Ian Crocker, Biondi, Jenny Thompson, etc.

And where have I ever said or even insinuate or even imply that american swimmers are cheaters?

And where did I say or even insinuate Ledecky is doped? Craig Lord can testify.

Craig Lord, you are usually very strict with false accusation, and yet you are letting Pol to falsely accuse me of things I’ve never said or insinuate. I hope the double standards are not instituted in your fine forum. Thanks.


Personal Best is completely right about me, as s/he knows me from other swimming forums for years. There is nothing further than truth than saying I am anti-american swimmers.

I think Pol is having some issues that s/he can’t deal and therefore gets awfully sensitive about things, and seeing/reading things where they don’t exist.


Although I’m always wary of betting against Missy I think this will be Emily’s year in the 100 back.

Jim C

aswimswam. Where did you ever say or even insinuate Ledecky is doped? What about a June 22 article on Swimvortex last year in response to Ledecky’s WR in the 800 in the 2nd and 3rd response to the article.

Congrats to Ledecky !

And yet no one to analyse Ledecky’s OFF THE CHART swims, or compare it against the men.

But OF COURSE she’s american and not chinese.

The amount of hypocrisy and super double standards is sickening.

Let me see if I understand your position. You find it highly objectionable that questions like this were raised in the case of A Chinese swimmer. But you want such questions to be raised in the case of an American swimmer even though you believe there is no reason to view the American swimmer with suspicion. Finally you are not anti-American. You and I have different definitions of what it means to be anti-American.

Jim C

Craig Lord

It seems to me that there were two types of Ye Shiwen “critics” in 2012. There were primary critics such as John Leonard who raised questions in response to Ye Shiwen’s performance. The Chinese immediate response including a claim by a Chinese doctor that he believed Phelps was on drugs in 2008. The Americans quickly distanced themselves from John Leonard, but rather than graciously accept an overwhelming victory in the matter, the Chinese and their supporters kept attacking.

Then there were the secondary “critics”. As long as the Chinese insisted on keeping the issue alive, these were people who tried to analyze Ye Shiwen’s swim in a reasonably unbiased fashion. I am sure the Guardian datablog did not set out to make Ye look bad, but once they took on the task of analyzing the data they went with what they found.

Craig, do you think you would have paid as much attention to Ye’s swim if the Chinese had not insisted on keeping the issue alive even after almost everyone had distanced him/herself from the first primary critics like John Leonard?

Craig Lord

Jim C, I’m sure I would have paid as much attention to the matter each time there was a peg to hang it on because the swim is unavoidable as an off-the-chart moment of spectacular proportions. Of course, the unreasonable defence of that swim has indeed provided more pegs to hang discussion on. As for John L’s original statement, I don’t think he was being at all unreasonable; he was raising a red flag and he was right to do so.

Jim C

I will say this about aswimfan. I don’t think aswimfan was anti-American except with regards to going over the top criticizing Americans about Ye Shiwen. I also do not think aswimfan is likely to continue such criticisms in the future. While I believe pol is mistaken in her views about aswimfan, I also believe that aswimfan made it very easy for people like pol to come to that conclusion.

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