Teenage phenom bursts onto scene at swimming worlds

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SHANGHAI --- Michael Phelps easily won the 100-meter butterfly, then ceded the spotlight to Missy Franklin, swimming's newest breakout star who made a splash on her final night at the world championships.

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Missy Franklin won the 200-meter backstroke and anchored the winning 400-meter medley relay team for the United States on Saturday. She won five medals total at the world championships.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Missy Franklin won the 200-meter backstroke and anchored the winning 400-meter medley relay team for the United States on Saturday. She won five medals total at the world championships.

Without Milorad Cavic pushing him, Phelps scowled upon seeing his time of 50.71 seconds Saturday night. Too slow for his liking, it was still good enough to earn him a second individual gold medal and his sixth overall with one day remaining in the meet.

Franklin won two more golds to leave the worlds with five medals overall -- three gold, a silver and a bronze. As he watched her, Phelps recalled his first world meet in 2001 as a 15-year-old who set a world record.

"I kind of remember myself being like that, full of energy all the time," he said. "She's just happy, just enjoying everything, she's never tired, she's always swimming fast. She's really been able to come on the scene strong. I've said this all along, she's a stud."

The 16-year-old phenom has energized the entire U.S. team and coaching staff with her bubbly personality and impressive maturity.

Franklin led all the way to win the 200 backstroke, then anchored the U.S. women to victory in the 400 medley relay.

"I've never been this happy in my entire life. It has been such an incredible meet," Franklin said. "I couldn't ask for anything better."

Franklin set two American records, winning the 200 back in 2 minutes, 5.10 seconds -- third fastest ever -- and the medley relay in 3:52.36, along with Coughlin, Rebecca Soni and Dana Vollmer.

The teenager from Centennial, Colo., anchored the Americans' victory in the 4x200 freestyle relay on Thursday, when she beat Italy's Federica Pellegrini did in winning the individual 200 free.

Olympic champion Cesar Cielo, of Brazil, kept his title in the 50 free to earn his second gold medal.

Rebecca Adlington won the 800 free at 8:17.51, putting her in good position to defend her title in her home country at next year's London Olympics.

Dutch sprinter Inge Dekker won the women's 50 fly.


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