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Campbell leads Missy in 100 heats

August 1, 2013

Cate Campbell 1

Missy Franklin on Thursday comfortably qualified for the semifinals of the women’s 100m freestyle event in which the battered German team finally had something to cheer as well.

Franklin clocked 53.36 seconds in her heat. Only Cate Campbell, a Malawi-born swimmer who competes for Australia, was 0.12 seconds faster than the American on 53.24.

Franklin, 18, has already won three golds in Barcelona, in the 4x100m freestyle relay, 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle. She started the championships bidding for an unprecedented eight gold medals but then withdrew Wednesday from the 50m backstroke semis after having qualified in 13th place.

The underperforming Germany team saw world record holder Britta Steffen qualify fourth for Thursday night’s semifinals.

And Steffen was not the only good news for Germany as Marco Koch was fastest in the men’s 200m breaststroke heats.

The 23-year-old made the semis in 2:09.39, to beat the time set by Britain’s Andrew Willis in another heat by 0.52 seconds, but didn’t get carried away.

“I know that the other swimmers approached their raced very tactically. I will have to see what comes out in the end,” he said.

Hungarian Olympic champion and 2011 world champion Daniel Gyurta had the third time with 2:09.94, and world record holder Akihiro Yamaguchi of Japan went through fifth.

In the women’s 4x200m freestyle heats, the Spanish team was loudly cheered on as they secured a place in the evening final. Led by Mireia Belmonte, the team finished second in her heat in 7:54.90 behind the US (7:53.03), who were resting some of their best swimmers for the finals.

China, with double-Olympic champion Ye Shiwen, had the fastest-time -winning their heat in 7:52.50 from Australia.

The US team also looked fast in the 200m backstroke event, where Tyler Clary led the field into the semis in a time of 1:56.76, while Ryan Lochte was third-fastest.

Craig McNally, who is hoping to give Britain their first medal at these championships, qualified between the two Americans.

American Micah Lawrence led the women’s 200m breaststroke heats in 2:21.74, beating the time set by Dane Rikke Moller Pedersen by 0.46 seconds. Russia’s Yuliya Efimova was 1.39 behind Lawrence.

Thursday evening’s session in the Palau Sant Jordi pool sees the finals of the men’s 200m medley and 100m freestyle, as well as the women’s 200m butterfly, 50m backstroke and 4x200m freestyle relay.

Sapa-DPA

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