Missy Franklin New Worlds Queen With Record Sixth Gold After US 400 Medley Relay Victory

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BARCELONA, Spain, August 4. IT’s official, Missy Franklin can now be added to the Mount Rushmore of women’s swimming after what she pulled off this week as Team USA signed off with a victory in the women’s 400-meter medley relay at the FINA World Championships.

Franklin (58.39), Jessica Hardy (1:05.10), Dana Vollmer (56.31) and Megan Romano (53.43) won by nearly two seconds with a smoking 3:53.23. That swim defended the title for the U.S., and delivered Franklin her record sixth world title this week.

That broke the record for most world titles in a single meet previous shared by Libby Trickett with five golds in 2007 and Tracy Caulkins with five golds and a silver in 1978. Franklin also tied Kristin Otto for the most golds by a female swimmer at a major international meet with Otto winning six golds at the 1988 Olympics.

The Missy File
2011 Shanghai — 3G, 1S, 1B, 5 Total
G 200 back
G 800 free relay
G 400 medley relay
S 400 free relay
B 50 back

2013 Barcelona — 6G, 6 Total
G 100 back
G 200 back
G 200 free
G 400 free relay
G 400 medley relay
G 800 free relay

Franklin also, in just her second long course world meet, owns the most world titles by a female swimmer with nine. Trickett had held the record with eight after capturing five golds in Melbourne in 2007 and three at the 2005 Montreal Worlds. But, tonight, Franklin surpassed her with her epic ninth world title. The only significant women’s record left for Franklin in terms of long course worlds competition is now Trickett’s career 15 medals overall from meets spanning 2003-2009.

Franklin is on the same trajectory as Michael Phelps now. Putting aside his single world title in the 200 fly in 2001, Phelps won nine world titles in his first two full-slate meets. He won four golds here in Barcelona in 2003, then followed that up with five golds at the 2005 Montreal meet to match Franklin at nine each in their first two full scheduled meets.

Franklin, however, has her work cut out for her as Phelps then went on to win a ridiculous seven world titles at the 2007 Melbourne meet before his epic eight golds at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Not to mention, even after Melbourne, Phelps still went on to win five golds (2009) and four golds (2011) in his final two World Championship events. In sum, the man has an amazing 26 long course world titles to his name.

Meanwhile, Emily Seebohm (59.40), Sally Foster (1:06.84), Alicia Coutts (56.89) and Cate Campbell (52.09) took second in 3:55.22, while Russia’s Daria Ustinova (1:00.58), Yuliya Efimova (1:04.82), Svetlana Chimrova (57.64) and Veronika Popova (53.43) placed third in 3:56.47.

China (3:57.30), Japan (3:58.06), Great Britain (3:58.67), Canada (4:00.19) and Germany (4:01.81) comprised the rest of the heat.