3 down, 4 to go for Franklin
Quadruple Olympic champion Missy Franklin of the US powered to her third gold at swimming’s world championships with victory in the women’s 200m freestyle final on Wednesday.
Franklin, 18, claimed her third title in Barcelona when she touched the wall in a personal best of 1 min, 54.81 sec with Italy’s Federica Pellegrini taking silver at 0.33 sec back and France’s Camille Muffat claiming bronze 0.91 sec adrift.
“I’m extremely happy. That was my first PB of the meet and my first time under one minute, 55, so I’m excited,” said Franklin.
Franklin, a backstroke specialist, said she was motivated in the 200m freestyle after finishing fourth in the London final.
“That was a huge motivating factor, it was really rough not making the podium, but I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that swim” said the teenager.
“I’ve done a lot of pace work to get quicker over short distances and I also focused really hard just on my race and didn’t get too focused on other swimmers around me.”
Having withdrawn from the 50m backstroke semifinals earlier to concentrate on the freestyle final, Franklin turned on the power and is in with a chance of seven gold medals in Barcelona.
“We thought we’d scratch my backstroke semifinal because the way it was lining up, it was only 20 minutes before my final tonight,” said Franklin.
After winning Sunday’s 4x100m freestyle relay, then taking Tuesday’s 100m backstroke final, Franklin still has the medley and 4x200m relays, plus the 200m backstroke and 100m freestyle to come.