Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin under pressure; Tuesday finals preview

Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin
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OMAHA — Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin, the two best U.S. swimmers this time four years ago, face major tests in finals at the Olympic Trials on Tuesday night

The injured Lochte qualified fifth fastest into the 200m freestyle final, an event where he was the top American at the 2012 Olympics (fourth).

“I’ve never raced in this much pain,” Lochte said Monday night.

Franklin qualified seventh fastest into the 100m backstroke final, which she won at the London Games.

It’s possible neither races those events in Rio, since only the top two Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET, NBC and NBC Sports app) will clinch an individual Olympic berth.

“Having been here before, I’m putting a lot of that pressure on myself,” Franklin said Tuesday morning ahead of her first of what she hopes is four finals this week. “Remember, hey, this is the best in the country right now. You’re racing against the greatest swimmers in all of the United States. Take it as an honor.”

An event-by-event look at Tuesday night’s semifinals and finals session:

Women’s 200m Freestyle Semifinals
Olympic champion Allison Schmitt, 2013 World champion Missy Franklin and 2015 World champion Katie Ledecky headline arguably the deepest event for both genders. Ledecky (1:55.60) and Leah Smith (1:56.47), who went one-two in the 400m free final Monday, were one-two in the 200m free prelims Tuesday morning. Schmitt was fourth and Franklin seventh. The top eight between two semis make Wednesday night’s final.

Men’s 200m Freestyle Final
This is Ryan Lochte‘s best remaining chance to make the Olympic team, given as many as the top six finishers could make the 4x200m free relay pool. Lochte is better in the 200m individual medley later in the meet, but only two spots are available there (with Michael Phelps in that field, too). He will be hoping that not having to swim Tuesday morning will help ease the groin injury suffered Sunday in the 400m individual medley, where he ended up finishing third. Lochte was fifth overall in the 200m free semis, but only .62 behind top seed Conor Dwyer. The second, third and fourth seeds are all at least 10 years younger than Lochte.

Women’s 100m Backstroke Final
Franklin must come back about 23 minutes after the 200m free semis for this race. She called her 100m back semifinal Monday night “sluggish.” In the last year, Franklin has also expressed frustration with some of her times as she returned from back spasms that slowed her at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships and the transition out of NCAA swimming in 2015. Her semifinal time — 1:00.45 — was 1.29 seconds slower than top seed Olivia Smoliga and 1.09 seconds slower than No. 2 Kathleen Baker. Also, 2004 and 2008 Olympic champion Natalie Coughlin snuck into this final as the eighth seed.

Men’s 100m Backstroke Final
This looks like three men racing for two Olympic spots — Olympic champion Matt Grevers, fellow veteran David Plummer and Ryan Murphy, a rising University of California senior. The world record could go down, too, since Plummer was .18 off of Aaron Peirsol‘s mark from 2009 in the semifinals.

SWIM TRIALS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Women’s 100m Breaststroke Final
Two first-time Olympians will likely be crowned here. Rising Indiana sophomore Lilly King came into this meet as the fastest in the U.S. this year and was also tops in the preliminary heats and semifinals. Molly Hannis and Katie Meili are the No. 2 and 3 seeds also eyeing their first Olympics, while former world-record holder Jessica Hardy was fourth best in the semifinals.

Men’s 200m Butterfly Semifinals
Unlike Lochte and Franklin, Michael Phelps should feel no pressure tonight. He needs to be in the top eight between two semifinals to advance to Wednesday night’s final. In 2015, Phelps clocked the fastest time in the world in this event since 2009. On Tuesday morning, he was the fastest man in the prelims.

Women’s 200m Individual Medley Semifinals
Maya DiRado, who won the 400m IM on Sunday to make her first Olympic team, qualified fastest into the semifinals. Caitlin Leverenz, who earned bronze at the London Olympics in this event, was .23 behind. Like with Phelps, they should easily make top eight to reach Wednesday’s final.

MORE: Lochte must draw on painful past to make Olympic team

U.S. men’s gymnastics team named for world championships

Asher Hong
Allison and John Cheng/USA Gymnastics
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Asher Hong, Colt Walker and world pommel horse champion Stephen Nedoroscik were named to the last three spots on the U.S. men’s gymnastics team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Brody Malone and Donnell Whittenburg earned the first spots on the team by placing first and second in the all-around at August’s U.S. Championships.

Hong, Walker and Nedoroscik were chosen by a committee after two days of selection camp competition in Colorado Springs this week. Malone and Whittenburg did not compete at the camp.

Hong, 18, will become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009. He nearly earned a spot on the team at the U.S. Championships, but erred on his 12th and final routine of that meet to drop from second to third in the all-around. At this week’s camp, Hong had the lowest all-around total of the four men competing on all six apparatuses, but selectors still chose him over Tokyo Olympians Yul Moldauer and Shane Wiskus.

Walker, a Stanford junior, will make his world championships debut. He would have placed second at nationals in August if a bonus system for attempting difficult skills wasn’t in place. With that bonus system not in place at the selection camp, he had the highest all-around total. The bonus system is not used at international meets such as world championships.

Nedoroscik rebounded from missing the Tokyo Olympic team to become the first American to win a world title on pommel horse last fall. Though he is the lone active U.S. male gymnast with a global gold medal, he was in danger of missing this five-man team because of struggles on the horse at the U.S. Championships. Nedoroscik, who does not compete on the other five apparatuses, put up his best horse routine of the season on the last day of the selection camp Wednesday.

Moldauer, who tweeted that he was sick all last week, was named the traveling alternate for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. It would be the first time that Moldauer, who was fourth in the all-around at last fall’s worlds, does not compete at worlds since 2015.

Though the U.S. has not made the team podium at an Olympics or worlds since 2014, it is boosted this year by the absence of Olympic champion Russia, whose athletes are banned indefinitely due to the war in Ukraine. In recent years, the U.S. has been among the nations in the second tier behind China, Japan and Russia, including in Tokyo, where the Americans were fifth.

The U.S. women’s world team of five will be announced after a selection camp in two weeks. Tokyo Olympians Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles are in contention.

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Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
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The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
Lafayette
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

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