Two gold medals for Lochte; Franklin comes up short
Barcelona, Spain – American Ryan Lochte picked up a pair of gold medals Friday at the 2013 World Swimming Championships, while Missy Franklin was kept off the podium for the first time this week.
Lochte won individual gold in the men's 200-meter backstroke, then helped the American men to the 4x200-meter freestyle relay title. He now has three gold medals at this week's meet.
Franklin, meanwhile, had captured gold in each of her first four events, but finished fourth in Friday's 100-meter freestyle. Australia's Cate Campbell won the women's premier event of the meet, touching the wall in a time of 52.34 seconds for the 100-meter freestyle gold in the first final of the evening.
Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom, the gold medalist in the 100-meter butterfly, was .55 seconds behind to grab the silver, while Dutchwoman Ranomi Kromowidjojo beat Franklin by 5/100ths of a second for the bronze. Kromowidjojo won Olympic gold at the distance last summer in London.
Lochte was next in the pool for the 200-meter backstroke and led from start to finish, bettering his bronze medal result from last summer's Olympics. He hit the wall Friday in a time of 1 minute, 53.79 seconds, beating Poland's Radoslaw Kawecki by .45 seconds. American Tyler Clary, the gold medal winner at this distance in London, took the bronze Friday.
In the final event of the night, Lochte rallied the U.S. men into the lead of the freestyle relay.
Lochte hit the water for the second leg of the relay in third place after Conor Dwyer's initial swim, but blew past everyone with the second-fastest split time of the race at 1 minute, 44.98 seconds. Charles Gipson Houchin maintained the lead and Ricky Berens completed the victory, giving the U.S. a time of 7:01.72.
Russia finished 2.20 seconds behind for silver, followed by China. France, which edged the U.S. for gold in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay earlier this week, finished fourth.
Also Friday, Russia's Yuliya Efimova won the women's 200-meter breaststroke and Hungary's Daniel Gyurta captured the men's 200-meter breaststroke.
Efimova, the Olympic bronze medalist last summer, touched the wall in a time of 2 minutes, 19.41 seconds, beating Denmark's Rikke Moller Pedersen by .67 seconds. Pedersen had set a world record in the semifinals on Thursday with a time of 2:19.11 and held the lead on the final leg Friday before Efimova surged ahead in the final moments. American Micah Lawrence was nearly three seconds behind and took the bronze.