The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

August 2, 2013

Lochte claims another gold, Franklin finally loses

— BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Missy Franklin finally lost.

Ryan Lochte is suddenly on a winning streak.

Lochte began one of the most grueling days of his swimming career with another world championship Friday, beating reigning Olympic champ and teammate Tyler Clary in the 200-meter backstroke.

Lochte still had two more races to go, including the 4x200 freestyle relay.

Franklin also had a busy night, but the first race didn't go as she hoped. The 18-year-old American finished fourth in the 100 free, ending a run of four straight victories at the Palau Sant Jordi.

She shook off the defeat, coming back about 25 minutes later to easily post the top qualifying time in the semifinals of the 200 back. She'll be a heavy favorite in that race Saturday night — she's the Olympic champion and world-record holder — which leaves her still on course to at least match Tracy Caulkins of the U.S. and Libby Trickett of Australia as the only women to win five events at worlds.

Caulkins won her five at the 1978 meet in Berlin, while Trickett did it in her home championships at Melbourne in 2007.

"I'm a little bummed," Franklin said. "I learned a lot, which is the most important thing. I think the 100 free is the event I definitely have the most room to improve on."

Franklin will have one more event after the backstroke — Sunday's 4x100 medley relay — so she's got a shot at joining Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz as the only swimmers to win as many as six golds at either worlds or the Olympics.

Lochte got off to a slow start in Barcelona, taking silver as part of the 4x100 free relay and finishing fourth in the 200 free. He admittedly had not trained as much as he normally does, taking time off after the London Olympics as well as starring in a reality TV show. But any thought he was in for a disappointing championships ended with a victory in the 200 individual medley.

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