Next year’s Olympic Games in Rio will sneak up on us, before we know it and once again we will get the chance to see some of our favorite athletes achieve feats we can only dream of.
The 2015 FINA World Aquatic Championships beginning in a few weeks, have an opportunity to see where they stack up against the rest of the world before next year’s Games. Here are three female swimmers you should watch out for come July 24.
College: University of California at Berkley
Events: 100 meter Freestyle; 200 meter Freestyle; 100 meter Backstroke; 200 meter Backstroke
Why you should pay attention: During 2012 London Games, Franklin (17 at the time) was touted as a female version of Michael Phelps. During her first Olympic appearance, Franklin hauled in 5 medals. Now, the 6-foot-2 tall, 20-year-old, who turned pro in March, has two years of dominating the NCAA behind her as well. She hasn’t raced much this season. Her first and only meet before this month’s Worlds was the Arena Pro Swim Series at Santa Clara, where she swam, 100 meter backstroke (she finished second behind Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu), 200 meter freestyle (she placed third) and 200-backstroke (another third place). Her times aren’t where she would like, but it seems she isn’t worried about being competition ready.
College: Stanford University
Events: 200 meter Individual Medley; 400 meter Individual Medley
Why you should pay attention: After helping the U.S. Women’s team to a gold medal at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, the 2014 Stanford grad is ready take home a pair of individual medals. The 23-year-old currently sits ranked 9th in the 200 meter Individual Medley, with a 2:11.48, which she recorded in January. She needs to shave at least three seconds off of that time in order to best world number one, Hosszu, who swam 2:08.66 in May. DiRado finished closely behind Hosszu in the 200 meter backstroke at the Arena Pro Swim Series at Santa Clara last month, proving she has what it takes to keep up with the Hungary’s “Iron Lady.” With most coaches resting their swimmers for this month’s meet, DiRado should be in tip top shape to take on her international competition.
College: University of Florida
Events: 200 meter Backstroke; 400 meter Individual Medley
Why you should pay attention: This will be Beisel’s fifth World Aquatic Championships. She boasts nine medals between the Olympics, the World Aquatic Championships and the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. Back in January, Beisel recorded a 4:36.71 in the 400 meter Individual Medley, landing her at number 7 among the world’s best 400 meter “IMers,” after which she suffered a minor groin injury which has led to her nursing a pulled hamstring and a strained hip flexor in February. With only a few weeks left Beisel is still swimming conservatively. She pulled out of the final two legs of the Arena Pro Swim Series in Charlotte and Santa Clara. But after four successful years at Florida, the former Gator looks to transfer those achievements to her professional career.