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Franklin wins second gold

July 30, 2013
Missy Franklin

Missy Franklin

Teenage US star Missy Franklin claimed her second gold at the swimming world championships on Tuesday in Barcelona with victory in the women’s 100m backstroke.

In a commanding performance, Franklin clocked 58.42secs in the final, three tenths of a second short of the four-year-old world record, with Australia’s Emily Seebohm 0.64sec adrift to claim silver and Japan’s Aya Terekawa touching the wall 0.81sec behind to win bronze.

Minutes after receiving her backstroke gold, 18-year-old Franklin finished second fastest in the 200m freestyle semi-finals to qualify for Wednesday’s final.

After victory with the USA team in Sunday’s 4x100m freestyle relay final, this was Franklin’s second gold medal of the eight titles she is bidding for at the world championships, which finish Sunday.

The backstroke medal placings in Barcelona were an exact repeat of those at the 2012 London Olympic final, something not lost on Franklin.

“I’m so happy with backstroke gold,” she beamed.

“I was off my best time so wanted to be at my best, but I’ll definitely take a 58.4 for right now and it was really fun to be on the podium with Emily and Aya just like we were last summer.

“Hopefully I will keep the momentum going and hopefully Team USA will too.

“We’ve had an absolutely incredible evening,” she added after compatriot Katie Ledecky took nearly six seconds off the women’s 1500m freestyle world record to win gold in Tuesday’s final.

With Franklin still to race the 50 and 200m backstroke, the 100m and 200m freestyle and two more relays, the 18-year-old faces a punishing schedule in Barcelona.

“I have no idea what will be my toughest event. I guess we’ll find out,” she said.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist from London 2012 showed no signs of fatigue in her later 200m freestyle semi-final.

“I’m super happy with that semi-final, I had a super fast heat tonight,” said the American teenager with size 13 feet.

“My coach told me before not to cut it as close as I did last summer when I squeezed into the finals in eighth.

“I have a lane in the middle of the pool so I’m happy.

“It was tough to back up after the final, but it was awesome.

“The backstroke final really got me pumped up for the 200m freestyle.”

Seebohm collected her second silver at Barcelona, after coming second in Sunday’s freestyle relay, but said she had wanted to go faster.

“I would like to have gone sub 59 secs but it was not what I got and it is obviously going to motivate me to train harder,” said the 21-year-old.

“I know what I want and I have just got to keep improving bit by bit.

“At least I haven’t dropped in the backstroke since last year and I know I’m not in the shape I was then.

“It gives me that little bit extra to work on and start getting back under 59 again.

“After the Olympics I had three months off.

“We work really hard to go into shape for the Olympics without many breaks and so after London you just kind of let loose and go a bit crazy and I guess I’m not quite in the same shape.”

One Comment
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