Thu, Aug 01, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Ledecky, Franklin lead youthful charge

BOUNCING BACK:After disappointment on Monday, the US team picked up a clutch of gold medals amid another strong showing at the World Swimming Championships

AP, BARCELONA, Spain

She is now two for two at the Palau Sant Jordi, adding to her gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

Australia’s Emily Seebohm was next in 59.06, with the bronze medal going to Japan’s Aya Terakawa in 59.23. After the medal ceremony, Franklin hustled off to get ready for the 200m freestyle semi-finals.

She only just qualified for the final of that event in London, and was edged out for a bronze medal by 0.01 seconds. Franklin has spent much of the past year working to improve her freestyle, and the results showed in the semis. Franklin easily qualified for the final with the second-fastest time, 1:56.05, trailing only world-record holder Federica Pellegrini of Italy.

“Hopefully, I will keep the momentum going,” Franklin said. “Hopefully Team USA will, too. We’ve had an absolutely incredible evening, and I’m so proud of all my teammates.”

Agnel blew away the field — Lochte included — in the men’s 200m freestyle. The big Frenchman pushed the pace right from the start and never let up. He touched in 1:44.20, a full body length ahead of the field, setting off another wild celebration from the large French contingent in the crowd.

The US team did pick up a medal, but not necessarily from the swimmer they expected. Dwyer, a friend and former training partner of Phelps, took the silver in 1:45.32. Danila Izotov of Russia claimed bronze in 1:45.59. Lochte missed a spot on the podium by 0.05.

Agnel is a training partner of Dwyer’s, having moved recently to the North Baltimore Aquatic Club to work with Phelps’ longtime coach, Bob Bowman.

“I am so surprised,” said Agnel, the reigning Olympic champion. “I did not expect such a result.”

Meilutyte just missed the world record she set the previous night in the semi-finals of the 100m breaststroke, winning in 1:04.42. Russia’s Yuliya Efimova was next in 1:05.02, while Hardy — the former world-record holder — pulled out a bronze in 1:05.52.

“Maybe the excitement and wanting to win altered my stroke,” Meilutyte said. “I was dying toward the end of it. There’s still things to improve, which is great.”

This story has been viewed 1155 times.
TOP top