3 down, 4 to go for Franklin

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in Barcelona

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.

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