Barcelona, Spain – Missy Franklin captured a gold medal Sunday in her first of eight scheduled events at the 2013 World Swimming Championships, while Ryan Lochte had to settle for a silver medal.
Franklin swam the first leg of the 4x100 freestyle relay, which the American team won thanks to Megan Romano. The U.S. squad was second after Franklin touched the wall and was still behind the Australian squad when Romano surged ahead of Alicia Coutts on the anchor leg.
The Americans -- with Natalie Coughlin and Shannon Vreeland swimming second and third, respectively -- finished in a time of 3 minutes, 32.31 seconds, .12 seconds ahead of the Australians, who won gold in the event at the 2012 London Games. The Dutch finished third.
France won the men's 4x100 freestyle relay, edging Lochte and the American men by .24 seconds.
Lochte swam the second leg for the U.S. team, which went into the final leg with a lead thanks to Anthony Ervin's brilliant third-leg time. However, Jeremy Stravius rallied the French back from fourth with a split of 47.59 seconds and the team finished with a time of 3:11.18.
It was a similar result to last year's Olympics when France also edged the U.S. for gold.
American teenager Katie Ledecky crushed the field in the 400-meter freestyle, finishing in a time of 3:59.82, 2.65 seconds ahead of Spain's Melanie Costa Schmid.
The first gold of the meet was won by China's Sun Yang in the men's 400-meter freestyle. American Connor Jaeger won bronze.