Swimming, Day 4: Treble for Franklin, Phelps inheritance for Le Clos
Missy Franklin (USA) bagged her third Barcelona gold and Chad le Clos (RSA) claimed one more global title that had belonged to Michael Phelps on Day 4 of swimming at the FINA World Championships. Yang Sun (CHN), furthering his quest for a distance freestyle treble, added the 800m crown to the 400m title he won on Day 1, while Cameron van der Burgh made it double gold on the day for South Africa with victory in the men's 50m breaststroke.
Franklin, golds in the 100m backstroke and 4x100m freestyle relay already in her possession, beat defending champion Federica Pellegrini (ITA) in the 200m freestyle. She seized the lead from Olympic 400m freestyle champion Camille Muffat (FRA) on the second length and won in 1:54.81, with Pellegrini charging through the field to claim silver in 1:55.14 and Muffat taking the bronze in 1:55.72. World record holder Pellegrini, Olympic champion in 2008, said she had had a difficult year and the result was very encouraging for the future. "I'm really surprised with the silver medal," she said.
Le Clos (RSA), who beat Phelps in the 200m butterfly at the 2012 London Olympics, inherited the great man's world crown in the same event, the American having won it at five of the last six World Championships before retiring after the London Games with a record 18 Olympic gold medals to his name. Le Clos swung past Pawel Korzeniowski (POL) on the last length to win in 1:54.32. Korzeniowski, who won the title when Phelps did not defend it in 2005, took the silver in 1:55.01 and Peng Wu (CHN) the bronze (1:55.09) for his fourth World Championship medal in the event, following a silver and two bronzes.
Double Olympic champion Sun was content to stay just ahead of his nearest rivals for most of the 800m before easing clear in the final 100 metres and winning in 7:41.36. Two Americans and a Canadian battled it out for the two remaining medals, with Michael McBroom (USA) clinching the silver in 7:43.60 and Ryan Cochrane (CAN) the bronze in 7:43.70 ahead of the second American, Connor Jaeger, who had beaten him to bronze in the 400m on the first day. Oussama Mellouli (TUN), the only man to have won Olympic titles in both pool and open water, was eighth and last. Mellouli won the open water 5km and was third in the 10km in Barcelona.
Van der Burgh (RSA) turned the tables on his 100m breaststroke conqueror Christian Sprenger (AUS) to reclaim the world 50m breaststroke crown by just 0.01 seconds. Olympic 100m breaststroke champion Van der Burgh had to settle for silver behind Sprenger in the 100 event on Day 2 but took the 50 in 26.77 to reclaim the title he won in 2009. Sprenger had to settle for silver in 26.78 and Giulio Zorzi ensured a second South African presence on the podium with bronze in 27.04, himself just 0.01 seconds ahead of fourth-placed Damir Dugonjic (SLO).
In semi-final action, Filippo Magnini (ITA), world champion in 2005 and 2007, failed to make the final of the 100m freestyle, finishing 16th overall.
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