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Franklin misses out, Campbell claims 100m free gold

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    Australia's Cate Campbell celebrates after winning the final of the women's 100-metre freestyle swimming event in the FINA World Championships at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona on August 2, 2013.AFP

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    Gold medalist Australia's Cate Campbell (C), Silver medalist Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom (L) and bronze medalist Netherlands' Ranomi Kromowidjojo pose on the podium during the award ceremony of the women's 100-metre freestyle swimming event in the FINA World Championships at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona on August 2, 2013.AFP

Australia's Cate Campbell won the women's 100m freestyle gold at the swimming world championships on Friday as US star Missy Franklin missed out on claiming a fifth medal in Barcelona.

The 21-year-old Campbell earned her first major title when she clocked 52.34sec with Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom, the 100m butterfly world champion, at 0.55 back and Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo of Holland adrift at 1.08.

Having missed the event at the London Olympics after suffering from gastroenteritis during London 2012, Campbell burst into tears as she climbed out of the Palau Sant Jordi pool.

"It didn't really sink in until I got out and heard all the Aussies screaming," said Campbell, who held a clear lead before fading in the last ten metres.

"I think if the race had lasted 110 metres, I wouldn't have got it."

After James Magnussen defended his men's 100m freestyle world title on Thursday, Campbell's victory underlines Australia's prowess in the event.

Having already collected four golds in Barcelona, Franklin missed out as she finished fourth at 1.13 back, while Germany's Britta Steffen, whose 2009 world record was under threat from Campbell until the dying stages, finished sixth.

"Of all my events, the 100m freestyle is the one I have worked most on," said Franklin.

"I was fifth in the London final (at the 2012 Olympics) and fourth tonight, so I am getting there."

Franklin had no time to dwell on her defeat.

Just 15 minutes after the freestyle final, the 18-year-old was back in the water as the fastest qualifier into Saturday's 100m backstroke final, her strongest event in which she is Olympic champion and world-record holder.