Olympics swimming: Five athletes to watch

Team USA and Team Australia traditionally dominate in the pool, and London should see a renewal of that rivalry. But there are also a few surprises:

3. Missy Franklin, USA

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    Member of US national Olympic swimming team Missy Franklin attends a news conference after a training session for the London 2012 Olympics in Bellerive, France Saturday.
    Robert Pratta/REUTERS
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Missy Franklin is, in essence, the Phelps of these Olympics.

Of course, Phelps could win another seven medals, but that's old news. Franklin, too, could win seven medals – and she's just 17. If she can manage it, she would be the first American woman to do it. None has ever won more than six in a single Games.

It's a tall order. She's a favorite in her two backstroke events, and the US always hopes to medal in each of the three relays – leaving the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle as her wildcards. If Franklin succeeds, she might singlehandedly relegate the Phelps-Lochte showdown to the swimming undercard, which would be no small achievement in itself.   

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