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Franklin equals record for most golds at worlds

August 3, 2013
Missy Franklin

Missy Franklin

American teenager Missy Franklin captured a record-equalling fifth gold medal at a single world championships when she won a second consecutive 200 metres backstroke title in Barcelona on Saturday.

The 18-year-old clocked a time of two minutes 04.76 seconds, a championship record, with Australia’s Belinda Hocking taking silver in 2:06.66 and Hilary Caldwell of Canada bronze in 2:06.80.

Franklin already had golds this week in 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle and the 4×100 and 4×200 freestyle relays and she came fourth in Friday’s 100 freestyle.

Her fifth triumph means she has matched a feat previously achieved only by American Tracy Caulkins in 1978 and Australian Libby Trickett in 2007.

“It’s hard to comprehend but I’m so excited because 200 back is my favourite race so it was so fun to get out there,” Franklin told Spanish television.

Asked what her limit might be, she added: “I don’t know, I don’t think I can choose.

“I’m so flattered I had so many opportunities for all these races and it’s so exciting to be able to swim so many times here.

“It’s an honour and a privilege and I enjoy every single time I get in the water.”

Franklin set the world record to win 200 backstroke gold at the London Olympics last year and also claimed the world title in Shanghai two years ago.

Teenager Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania – who currently resides in Plymouth – set a world record in the women’s 50 metres breaststroke in her semi-final.

Meilutyte, who swam a world best in the semi-finals of the 100 breaststroke on Monday, clocked a time of 29.48 seconds to beat the previous best of 29.78 set by Yuliya Efimova of Russia in qualifying earlier on Saturday.

Efimova was swimming in the next lane to the 16-year-old Meilutyte in their 50 breaststroke semi-final and finished in 29.88.

Jeanette Ottesen Gray of Denmark won gold in the women’s 50 metres butterfly.

Ottesen Gray clocked a time of 25.24 seconds, with Lu Ying of China taking silver in 25.42 and Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands, Olympic gold medallist in the 50 and 100 freestyle in London last year, bronze in 25.53.

The 50 butterfly does not feature in the Olympics.

Cesar Cielo of Brazil won a third consecutive gold in the men’s 50 metres freestyle.

Cielo, the world record holder, clocked a time of 21.32 seconds, with Vladimir Morozov of Russia taking silver in 21.47 and George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago bronze in 21.51.

Florent Manaudou of France, Olympic champion in London last year, finished fifth behind American Nathan Adrian.

Cielo won gold at the 2009 world championships in Rome and in Shanghai two years ago.

Chad le Clos of South Africa won gold in the men’s 100 metres butterfly to add to his 200 triumph earlier in the week.

Le Clos clocked a time of 51.06 seconds, with Laszlo Cseh of Hungary taking silver in 51.45 and Konrad Czerniak of Poland bronze in 51.46.


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