Missy Franklin

Missy Franklin expected to make Cal debut Friday

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The name for Missy Franklin‘s first college swimming competition is fitting: Queen of the Pool.

Franklin is expected to compete in Cal’s season-opening meet hosted by Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Cal Athletics said. In the meet, swimmers go against each other in a pentathlon — 100 yards for all four strokes plus a 100-yard individual medley.

NCAA competitions are done in yards, so it will be tough to measure Franklin’s NCAA times with her top times from major international meets.

But swimming fans who yearn to see how Franklin fares across all stroke disciplines should be appeased. Franklin has only done the backstroke and freestyle in World Championships and Olympics.

Her competition will be tough. Cal won the NCAA title in 2011 and 2012 and was runner-up to Georgia this past season. Olympic teammate Rachel Bootsma won Queen of the Pool last year in her first college meet.

On Saturday, Franklin and Bootsma could be part of co-ed relays. Remember that FINA approved mixed-gender relays in July, meaning they could be in place for the 2015 World Championships.

Here’s video of Cal’s female freshmen swimmers, including Franklin, serenading the men’s water polo team with the school’s fight song, an annual tradition:

Duel in the Pool dates, format set

Pau Gasol may skip Olympics due to Zika virus

Pau Gasol
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Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol is the latest athlete to announce publicly thoughts about skipping the Rio Olympics due to the Zika virus.

Gasol, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, held a press conference and wrote a column in Spanish newspaper El Pais titled “Olympic dream or medical nightmare?” on Monday.

“Returning to Spain after eight months in the United States, I am struck by how few people in Europe are talking about the Zika virus and its consequences,” Gasol wrote in the column. “From my conversations with both U.S. and Spanish experts, my conclusion is that Zika is a much bigger and more serious threat than we think.”

MORE: U.S. Olympic basketball game times announced

Nic Long, Alise Post make U.S. Olympic team after BMX Worlds medals

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London Olympians Nic Long and Alise Post became the first members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic BMX team by capturing bronze medals at the World Championships in Medellín, Colombia, on Sunday.

Long, eliminated in the London Olympic quarterfinals, earned his first World Championships medal.

He finished third in Medellín behind France’s Joris Daudet and the Netherlands’ Niek Kimmann, the latter just missing in a bid to become the first BMX rider to repeat as World champion since the sport was added to the Olympic program in 2008.

Post, tearfully eliminated in the London Olympic semifinals, earned her third World Championships medal.

She was second for most of the final behind eventual Colombian winner and 2012 Olympic champion Mariana Pajón and was passed by Australian Caroline Buchanan on the final straight.

The U.S. can send two women and three men to Rio in BMX.

Long and Post bring the entire list of U.S. athletes qualified to Rio to 147 members.

MORE: 100 Team USA athletes to watch on road to Rio