Missy Franklin Helps U.S. Team Take Gold In Mixed Relay Races

Missy Franklin helped the U.S. to capture the gold medal on Saturday in Kazan, Russia, in the mixed 4×100 meters freestyle race at the world swimming championships, as well as set a new world record.

The U.S. team, comprised of Franklin, Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian, and Simone Manuel, set the new record of 3:23.05 seconds, beating the previous record the Australian team set in 2014 of 3:23.29.

The record-setting swimmer related to the media what was going through her mind as she swam that final meters of the race, with her teammates counting on her.

“It’s hard to lose. This is one of the hardest races to get second (in), just because I love it so much. I fought my heart out and I went out after it and I swam it like Missy Franklin swims a 200 backstroke,” Franklin said of her performance in the race.

Missy Franklin sealed the win for her team within the last 5 meters of the race, after they had been lagging behind throughout the rest of the relay.

“I didn’t think I was going to get her [the Netherland’s Femke Heemskerk],” Franklin said. “I turned at the 50 and knew they had a really tough back end with Ranomi and Femke, so it was like, ‘Get out there and do your best.’ So I put my head down, got my hand on the wall and looked up and saw Nathan cheering. I was like, ‘OK, we must have done well.’ “

The team’s total time was comprised of those of the individual teammates in the relay — Ryan Lochte swam his part in 48.79 seconds, 47.29 was the time of Nathan Adrian, 53.66 by Simone Manuel, and Missy Franklin’s time of 53.31.

The U.S. team was followed by the Netherlands who took second place with a combined total time of 3:23.10, and Canada, with third, who swam a total time of 3:23.59.

Teammate Nathan Adrian said the race was “really fun” and “exciting,” partly due to Franklin’s last-minute efforts for the win.

“It was really fun,” Adrian said. “We didn’t have a great vantage point, so I had to keep looking up at the board. Missy did not have the lead until the last meter of that race, so it was really exciting.”

[Photo via Adam Pretty / Getty Images]