Swimming: Missy Franklin pulls out of backstroke semis to focus on freestyle final
BARCELONA (REUTERS) - American teenager Missy Franklin pulled out of the 50m backstroke semi-finals at the world swimming championships on Wednesday to focus on the 200 freestyle final, a spokesperson for USA Swimming said.
The 18-year-old, who has already claimed two gold medals at Barcelona's Palau Sant Jordi, was equal 13th-fastest in the heats for the 50 backstroke earlier on Wednesday and told reporters afterwards she was swimming the event just for fun.
"I'm not going to lie but it was really fun," said Franklin, who swam 28.44secs, compared to 27.55 for the fastest qualifier, Fu Yuanhui of China. "The 50 back is just kind of like a fun event with no pressure."
Spokeswoman Karen Linhart later confirmed that Franklin had withdrawn to focus on the freestyle final, due to take place shortly after the backstroke semi-finals with only the men's 200 butterfly final in between.