U.S. Olympic Trials: Katie Ledecky Pops 1:54.88 In 200 Free; Missy Franklin Qualifies

Katie Ledecky - beating a path to the pantheon [Photo: Peter Bick]

Katie Ledecky broke the 1:55 barrier for the fourth time in her career to win the 200 freestyle, with Missy Franklin securing her slot on the Olympic team with a runnerup finish.

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Katie Ledecky broke the 1:55 barrier for the fourth time in her career to win the 200 freestyle, with Missy Franklin securing her slot on the Olympic team with a runnerup finish.


Bad Anon

Women’s 200free in Rio will be very competitive, a pure fight 🙂 Such a relief Missy makes an individual team and MP on the plane for a 5th games…. Wow! The times were not that special but winning has always been more important than time…..


If you look at it from the point of view that the USA top guns were there not completely rested and looking ahead to Rio, the results look pretty good. That includes Ledecky, Phelps and Franklin.

Glad Missy finally made the team in something. Was rooting for Schmitty, but at least she got on the relay.

I don’t get Michael messing up his turns constantly. You would think after swimming this long he would have those down better. But I guess it’s racing speed vs. practice speed that makes it tricky.

Hope we see a WR from Cordes in the final.

John Lohn

Easyspeed, I totally agree. The fact that rest remains for Ledecky makes this 200 free very enticing. A battle for sure, but she’ll be awfully tough in Rio.


What happened at W200FR is probably the best scenario for the American Olympic team. Being on the individual race at 200 free Franklin without any doubts will strongly focus on this distance to go under 1:55. With McKeon and Sjostrom having record of being unpredictable at this distance Franklin chances for the podium are far from zero. That concentration on this distance will make a very strong leg at 4 x200. Plus there no more problems with her schedule.
Smith has probably shown her best at this distance. It looks like she is fully tapered for this meet and won’t be faster in Rio. It would be better for her and Manual to do what they can do best – 400,800 and 50,100 respectfully (if selected of course). Runge is very reliable high quality swimmer will be probably better choice for prelim relay than McLaughlin who’s form isn’t certain.


I agree with you. As I said yesterday, If Missy swims PB in Rio, she will be in play for medal.

This is also what I wrote yesterday:
“The reason I am asking is that I see interesting possibility that Michael and Katie will set similar times.”
MP 1:54.84
KL 1:54.88


I think Manuel will take 100 free tomorrow. Her stroke has tidied up, still powerful but looking more smooth/efficient.

Eugene Chc

aswimfan, Missy free now looks much better than her back.

Schmit slowet than het in-season time.


This is totally out of context, but I don’t know where to write it. I think it is right in this site to remember the late Carlo Pedersoli, aka Bud Spencer, who passed away on Monday. Born in Naples, Italy, he was widely known in Italy, Germany, Spain, Eastern Europe and Latin America as a slapstick comedy actor (often coupled with Terence Hill). What many don’t know is that he was an Olympic swimmer and waterpolo player, and in the early 50s was the first Italian to go sub 1 minute (he went 58”, to be precise) in the 100 free. That time will probably seem pedestrian to many, since Johnny Weissmuller was already swimming faster in the ’20s, but you have to take into account that at the time in the whole country there was only one indoor pool, and that most people, Bud included, learned to swim by the sea. Besides, he was a smoker and never trained seriously, often getting out of the pool, bored, after a few minutes. He was in fact an incredibly gifted natural talent, being able to go under the minute at will in those circumstances and with his attitude. In the end he got bored of swimming altogether and got into acting. I hope I did not go out of line by writing this small eulogy and if I did I apologize to the site owners.


Thanks for sharing the news and eulogy.
I had to Google Carlo pedersoli and bud Spencer.

Barnabas Mandi

RIP, Piedone

Jay Ched

In agreement on Missy – much better 200 free than 100 back. Plus that scales back her program but still gives her the individual event plus 4×200. I see her making 200 back, and a possible 4×100, though not individual 100 free. Hopefully Simone will make it there (plus the 50) and even better if the 2009 suited 100 free AR of 53.02 goes down. A 52.99 or better would be great! Cordes knocking off the AR in 200 breast is also on my wish list.

Eugene Chc

Missy free stroke much better than in 2012.
Her back now similar to her free from 2012, awful innefective stroke.


@ John Lohn. You are mostly optimistic with your prognosis but 7:39 for 4×200 relay sounds too match. Don’t look at personal bests, but check the yesterday final. It what the race where six Olympic gold medals were the prize. Everybody but Ledecky tried their best and only Runge and Manual did it. If to remember that favorite team is usually very careful with exchanges to avoid DQ then we can expect 0.35-0.4sec reaction time. That makes yesterday American team 1-1.5 seconds short of world record that s 7:42.08. Assuming that Smith and Schmitt were well prepared for this meet it would be unreasonable to expect from them something significantly different in a month. Ledecky and Franklin are capable to make down and bellow world record. But 7:39? How do you see it?


What interesting about W4x200 final is that that is what can happen in Rio. The pressure made it not faster but slower. It was pure multi level racing. At lane 1 and 2 Margalis and Runge battle each other for 5th-6th place neck to neck from start to finish. In lane 3 and 4 for quite long time Schmitt challenged Ledecky giving the impression that she is in a long expected great form. And next to them the racing drama between super start of Manual, trying matching her Franklin that made her tired with slow finish and second fastest last fifty from Smith.
This looks remarkably similar to the Kazan’s one – a lot of anticipation, high tension, racing all the way and…. actually slow. It can happen to Rio’s final as well.


Rio w200 free may unfold to be just like Kazan: a nervy affair, or it can happen like 2013 Barcelona, 2012 London, 2009 Rome, 2008 Beijing, 2007 Melbourne: Fearless and fast swimming by fantastic racers, or fantastic and fast swimming by fearless racers.


so let’s hope it turns out like those races I mentioned instead of Kazan.


TL, thanks for the Bud Spencer piece; I’m old enough to have laughed myself senseless with his Trinity films in the early 70’s with Terence Hill. Jeez … I am showing my age !

With regards to Ledecky; I have two prevailing lines of thought which are not necessarily disparate.

Ledecky is one of only a couple of swimmers who’s surety of qualification allows them not to full taper and it appears apparent she has not done so. Therefore it’s clear there are variable scopes for improvement in Rio with all her events.

However, I feel that with the 200, in particular, many people (particularly in the US) may be over optimistic with regards to her top-side. Its patently clear that she can win at world level at this distance but that is a very different level of performance to her utter dominance/obliteration of world marks at longer distances.

She IS human and, like all of us, have physiological limits. She swims a respectable 100free but 53mid-high is a long way from the sharp end of that event.

Can she win the 200free in Rio …. yes, but it may not be the stone cold certainty some have thought.

Could she break the 200free record ….. plausible but its likely to be very incremental rather than the obliterations we’ve seen in longer events.

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