Franklin set for big week in pool

AFP-JIJI

Teenage swim star Missy Franklin of the USA will tackle eight events when the FINA World Swimming Championships competition begins on Sunday as the sport adjusts to life after Michael Phelps.

Having quit after London 2012, after collecting a record 18th Olympic gold medal, Phelps, 28, will only be a spectator during the eight days of the world championships at Palau Sant Jordi Stadium.

In his absence, the 18-year-old Franklin will be looking to emulate Phelps, who won eight golds at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as she looks to tackle a punishing program.

Franklin’s schedule includes the 100- and 200-meter freestyle, all three backstroke events over 50, 100 and 200 and all three relays — eight events in total.

Should she win all her events, she will manage something even Phelps failed to pull off: no swimmer — male or female — has ever won eight golds at a world championships.