Kathleen Baker leads world champs Katinka Hosszu, Emily Seebohm in 100m backstroke semifinal
By: Rachel Lutz
Team USA’s Kathleen Baker, making her first Olympic appearance in 2016, leads the 100m backstroke field after clocking the fastest time in the semifinals, 58.84 seconds.
Katinka Hosszu, Hungary’s “Iron Lady” who won the 400m individual medley in world record time on Saturday, sits in second, a tenth of a second off Baker.
2015 world champion Emily Seebohm of Australia and her teammate Madi Wilson also both advanced safely into the Monday night’s final.
Olivia Smoliga, a U.S. rookie alongside Baker, qualified for the final in eighth place.
Defending Olympic champion, Missy Franklin, did not qualify to defend his gold from the U.S. Trials in June. She will swim the 200m freestyle at the Rio Games beginning on Monday, as well as defend her 200m backstroke gold beginning Thursday.