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BCN 2013 Day 4: Missy Franklin Triples Up

Taiu Kunimoto |
August 1, 2013 | 11:58 a.m. PDT

Staff Writer

The 18-year-old superstar proves her worth for the third time in these championships.
The 18-year-old superstar proves her worth for the third time in these championships.
Missy Franklin secured her third gold medal at the 15th FINA World Championships on Thursday, finishing strong in the women’s 200m freestyle. Although she was not widely considered the proper candidate for the crown, Franklin clocked a time of 1:54.81 in defeating the defending champion Federica Pellegrini of Italy and Olympic champion Camille Muffat of France.

Franklin broke away from the pack after the 100m turn, leading the runner-up by half a body length. Despite Pellegrini’s incredible comeback in the last 50m, pushing her position from fourth to second, Franklin touched the wall as the clear winner. Finishing second, Pellegrini missed the chance of becoming the first woman to be crowned champion of the same individual event three times. It was a day to celebrate for U.S. Swimming as well, with Franklin’s gold medal breaking America's 35-year drought in the event. 

In the men’s 200m butterfly, South Africa’s Chad Le Clos inherited Michael Phelps' championship title. Finishing with a time of 1:54.32, the South African repeated his gold-winning performance in the Olympics to win his first ever world championship medal. The silver went to Pawel Korzeniowski from Poland, who also set a new Polish men’s record for this event while China’s Wu Peng came in third to earn his fourth medal at the worlds. 

The good news from the South African side continued soon after, as Cameron Van der Burgh and his fellow countryman Giulio Zorzi finished first and third respectively in men’s 50m breaststroke. Van der Burgh touched at 26.77, only a tenth of a second outside of World Record set in Rome in 2009. Australian veteran Christian Sprenger claimed the runner-up position, as he bagged his second medal of the championships.

The win in the men’s 800m freestyle went to double Olympic champion Yang Sun from China, who already won the men’s 400m on Day 1. Sun spent most of his race leading the pack by just his fingertips until he strongly pulled away at the last 100m. Touching in 7:41.36,  Sun became the first Chinese man to reclaim the championship title at the long-course World Championships.

"I changed my mind right before the deadline to apply for the swimming events, since I wanted to prove myself in this race,” Sun said after his victory, “I wanted this title to remain in Chinese hands."

Training under Denis Cotterell, the coach of legendary long-distance swimmer Grant Hackett, Sun now sets his sights on a triple gold in the 1500m.

Former Trojan swimmer Ous Mellouli of Tunisia also swam in the men’s 800m final after his race in open water. He finished at 8th place.

USC’s NCAA champion Vladmir Morozov, representing Russia, progressed into the men’s 100m freestyle final as he held onto his third place position along with the Olympic champion James Magnussen in the second heat of the semifinal. 

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu shook off yesterday’s loss and secured a position in Day 5's women’s 200m butterfly final. Hosszu showed her strong endurance in her last 75m, as she challenged and surpassed the former Olympic gold medallist Zige Liu. 

Staff Writer Taiu Kunimoto can be reached here



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