Missy Franklin
Getty Images

Missy Franklin confident going into Trials after frustrating swims

Leave a comment

Missy Franklin‘s goals are the same at the Olympic Trials as they were four years ago, in that she wants to hit specific times in races, but she acknowledges this situation is a little different.

“My times were a little bit slower than where I would have liked them to be [so far in 2016],” Franklin said Saturday, one day before the meet begins in Omaha.

But the times are not that different from four years ago.

Add up Franklin’s fastest swims this year in her four primary events, the 100m and 200m backstrokes and freestyles, and they are a combined .44 of a second slower than in the same period in 2012.

However, this year she ranks second, third, fifth and ninth in the U.S. in those four events. Given the top two finishers at Trials make the Olympic team per individual event, there would be reason for doubt.

Not that the four-time 2012 Olympic gold medalist is feeling it.

“We know how it works, and I think we did it pretty well last time,” Franklin said of her Trials taper strategy with coach Todd Schmitz, whom she left for two seasons at the University of California but returned to last spring. “So we know that I’m going to be ready when I need to be ready, and that’s right now.”

TRIALS: Broadcast ScheduleEntry Lists
PREVIEWS: Men | Women
FIVE KEY RACES: Men | Women

Franklin repeated Friday being “incredibly frustrated” at the 2015 World Championships, where she came away with one silver and one bronze medal in her four individual races after taking three golds in the same events at the 2013 Worlds.

But she also remembered that the main goal was to get to and through the 2015 Worlds without any of the back problems that slowed her at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships.

Mission accomplished, even though she went winless in six meets from June through October, and again at another meet in January.

New threats have emerged (or re-emerged) in Franklin’s events, namely Katie Ledecky‘s takeover of the 200m freestyle and the comeback of 2012 Olympic 200m freestyle champion Allison Schmitt. That 200m free final may be the most anticipated three-swimmers-for-two-spots showdown of the meet.

Not that Franklin feels pressured. She’s relaxed, having spent part of Friday occupied by a gift from her parents — a coloring book.

“I plan on setting a new bar at this meet,” Franklin said. “That’s kind of almost unrelated to what I did in 2012, because everything is so different.”

MORE: Olympic Swimming Trials broadcast schedule

Anna van der Breggen is first cyclist to sweep road world titles in 25 years

Anna van der Breggen
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen added the road race crown to her time trial victory at the world road cycling championships, becoming the second rider in history to win both events at the same edition.

“This is, for me, pretty good so far,” she said.

Van der Breggen, the Rio Olympic road race champion, won after a solo attack with more than 25 miles left of an 89-mile course in Imola, Italy, on Saturday.

She prevailed after more than four hours of racing by 80 seconds over countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, the 2019 champion. Van Vleuten raced nine days after breaking her left wrist in a Giro Rosa crash.

Italian Elisa Longo Borghini took bronze in the same time as van Vleuten after losing a photo-finish sprint. Lauren Stephens was the top American in 11th.

Full results are here.

The race lacked American standout Chloé Dygert, who crashed out of the time trial while leading on Thursday and required leg surgery.

Van der Breggen joined Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo as the only male or female cyclists to sweep the time trial and road race at a single worlds. Longo did so in 1995 at age 36.

Van der Breggen, 30, said in May that she will retire after the 2021 Olympic season.

It will be the end of one of the great cycling careers. She is now a three-time world champion and nine-time world medalist to go along with her road race gold and time trial bronze in her Olympic debut in Rio.

Worlds conclude Sunday with the men’s road race. A TV and stream schedule is here.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: A more equal future for women’s cycling? Lizzie Deignan has high hopes

2020 French Open TV, live stream schedule

Leave a comment

Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams can each tie Grand Slam singles titles records at the French Open, with daily live coverage among NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel.

NBC coverage starts Sunday with first-round action at Roland Garros, its 38th straight year covering the event. Tennis Channel airs the majority of weekday coverage. Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, has middle weekend broadcasts.

All NBC TV coverage alo streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Nadal is the primary men’s storyline, favored to tie Roger Federer‘s male record of 20 major titles and extend his own record of 12 French Open crowns. Federer is absent after knee operations earlier this year.

The Spaniard’s primary competition is top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion whose only defeat in 2020 was a U.S. Open default for hitting a ball that struck a linesperson in the throat.

Williams bids again to match the overall Grand Slam singles mark of 24 held by Australian Margaret Court. Williams, a three-time French Open champion, lost in the third and fourth round the last two years and is coming off a U.S. Open semifinal exit.

The women’s field is led by 2018 champion Simona Halep but lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: How Jay-Z, Beyonce helped Naomi Osaka come out of her shell

French Open TV Schedule

Date Time (ET) Network Round
Sunday, Sept. 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. NBC
Monday, Sept. 28 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Tuesday, Sept. 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, Sept. 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, Oct. 1 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, Oct. 2 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, Oct. 3 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Sunday, Oct. 4 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Monday, Oct. 5 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Tuesday, Oct. 6 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Oct. 7 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Thursday, Oct. 8 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Friday, Oct. 9 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Saturday, Oct. 10 9 a.m. NBC Women’s Final
Sunday, Oct. 11 9 a.m. NBC Men’s Final