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BARCELONA, Spain, August 3. MISSY Franklin matched history tonight with her amazing fifth gold medal by way of a victory in her pet event of the women’s 200-meter backstroke at the FINA World Championships.
Franklin added the 200-meter backstroke title to her gold-medal haul this week with a 2:04.76. That swim eclipsed the meet record of 2:04.81 set by Kirsty Coventry at the 2009 World Championships, and is the second fastest time ever behind only Franklin’s world record of 2:04.06 from the 2012 London Olympics. Franklin also becomes the first person to break 2:05 more than once.
Franklin has now won five gold medals this week with wins in the 100 back, 200 back, 200 free, 400 free relay and 800 free relay. That ties her with Tracy Caulkins (1978) and Libby Trickett (2007) for the most gold medals at a single World Championship meet, and she still has the 400-meter medley relay to come. Should she capture her sixth gold medal then, she would match Kristin Otto’s 1988 Olympic performance as the only other time a single female swimmer has won six golds at the top meet of the year.
Now with her eighth world title, Franklin is just one more win away to tie Trickett for the most career world titles with nine. Franklin also won a trio of golds in 2011 with wins in the 200 back, 800 free relay and 400 medley relay.
Australia’s Belinda Hocking placed a distant second in 2:06.66 for silver. That’s half-a-second off her Australian record of 2:06.06 from the 2011 FINA World Championships held in Shanghai. Meanwhile, Hilary Caldwell took down the Canadian record for the third straight round with a 2:06.80. The swim bettered her 2:07.15 from the semifinal rounds as she became the first Canadian to break through 2:07 tonight.
Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina (2:08.72), USA’s Elizabeth Pelton (2:08.98), Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (2:09.08), Canada’s Sinead Russell (2:10.46) and Russia’s Daria Ustinova (2:11.30) comprised the rest of the championship finale.