Phelps advises teenage Missy Franklin to control emotions

Jul 28, 2012, 08:14 IST | AFP

Teenage US swim star Missy Franklin is poised to be one of the swim stars of the Olympic games, but team-mate Michael Phelps has said controlling her emotions will be the key to her London success.

The 17-year-old has qualified for four individual events having won the 100m and 200m backstroke at the recent US trials and finished second in the 100m and 200m freestyle.

Missy Franklin of the United States during a training session

She is set to race in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay today and her first individual event will be Sunday's 100m backstroke in the eight-day Olympic programme. She could tackle seven events at London's Aquatic Centre, if selected for the US team in the three relays, but Melissa Jeanette Franklin, to give her full name, has admitted she is finding it hard to keep her emotions in check.

“This week has been so exciting going to France (for a training camp) and coming into my first Olympic Village,” beamed the bubbly teenager. “It has been so much fun, I was literally bouncing off the walls and giving everyone hugs when I got my (USA) uniform. “It is hard to keep that energy conserved and keep it there for when it really matters."

On the eve of her first Olympics, the US team has made sure their rising starlet is well briefed as to what to expect and swim legend Phelps has said Franklin will be flying in the pool if she keeps her emotions in check. “This week will be a completely different experience for her," said Phelps, who won an unprecedented eight gold medals in Beijing four years ago.

“When we were doing a media day in France recently, I was looking at her thinking, ‘how do these girls have so much energy?’ It’s non-stop. Some of the girls like Missy are bouncing off the walls. If she can control her emotional energy she will be fine, but that will be the tough part. It’s a long eight days with semi-finals and finals, it does add up. I noticed in the last couple of days in 2008 that I got super tired and pretty run down, it hits you hard,” said Phelps.

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