Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Caldwell a Barcelona bronze

Canadian medals in backstroke; Franklin of U.S. wins fifth gold

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From left: Australia's Belinda Hocking, silver, Missy Franklin of the United States. gold, and Canada's Hilary Caldwell, bronze, smile as they hold their medals during the presentation ceremony for the Women's 200m backstroke final at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday.

MICHAEL SOHN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge Image

From left: Australia's Belinda Hocking, silver, Missy Franklin of the United States. gold, and Canada's Hilary Caldwell, bronze, smile as they hold their medals during the presentation ceremony for the Women's 200m backstroke final at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday.

BARCELONA, Spain -- Canada's Hilary Caldwell captured the bronze medal in the women's 200-metre backstroke at the swimming world championships Saturday.

 

Caldwell, a native of White Rock, B.C., stepped onto the podium with a time of two minutes 6.80 seconds.

American Missy Franklin won her fifth gold medal of the worlds in the event with a time of 2:04.76 ahead of Australia's Belinda Hocking.

"I was feeling really good. I was feeling fit, I was feeling good in the water and my backstroke was feeling great...," Caldwell said. "It's pretty exciting. I don't know if it's quite sunk in yet, actually, but it's pretty cool to be up there and the whole crowd and stuff."

Canada's head coach Randy Bennett called Caldwell's medal the payoff for a lot of work.

The 18-year-old Franklin tied the record for most golds by a woman at worlds, matching Tracy Caulkins of the U.S. and Libby Trickett of Australia.

Franklin has one event remaining -- the 400 medley relay -- and a chance to join Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Kristin Otto as the only swimmers to win as many as six golds at worlds or the Olympics.

"That was awesome," said Franklin, who has already bettered her performance at the London Olympics, where she won four golds and a bronze. "The 200 back is my favourite race, but it's probably my most painful."

American Katie Ledecky, only 16, wrapped up a brilliant meet with her fourth gold medal and second world record, this time in the 800 freestyle. The youngster, who hopes to get her driving permit when she returns home, turned it on over the final laps to win in 8:13.86 seconds.

Powering to the finish as though she was in a sprint, not the last of 16 laps, Ledecky took down the mark of 8:14.10 set by Britain's Rebecca Adlington at the 2008 Olympics.

Lotte Friis of Denmark set the early pace but simply couldn't keep up when Ledecky put it in another gear, a repeat of their race in the 1,500 where the teenager broke the previous record by more than six seconds.Friis settled for another silver, and New Zealand's Lauren Boyle claimed the bronze -- the same order as the 1,500. Ledecky won the 800 free at the London Olympics, her international debut, and went four-for-four in Barcelona, nearly breaking a world record in the 400 free and leading off the U.S. victory in the 800 free relay.

Meanwhile, after an epic night of swimming, Ryan Lochte finally ran out of gas on his 29th birthday.

He had the top time coming into the final of the 100 butterfly, but managed only a sixth-place finish. Chad le Clos won the gold, leaving no doubt he is the new king of the fly as long as Michael Phelps stays in retirement. The personable South African touched in 51.06, completing a sweep of the 100 and the 200 in Barcelona. Laszlo Cseh of Hungary claimed the silver, while Poland's Konrad Czerniak picked up the bronze.

The previous night, Lochte pulled off a stunning triple, winning two gold medals and setting a personal best in the 100 fly semifinals. But he couldn't match it in the final, trailing all the way and finishing in 51.58 -- a tenth of a second slower than the previous day, even though he was better rested.

Brazil's Cesar Cielo won his third straight world title in the 50 free. Despite undergoing surgery on both knees after the Olympics, and not even bothering to enter the 100 free, Cielo showed he's still the man to beat. His time was 21.32, edging Russia's Vladimir Morozov by 0.15. The bronze went to George Bovell of Trinidad.

Jeanette Ottesen Gray of Denmark won gold in the 50 butterfly, a non-Olympic event. She touched in 25.24. China's Lu Ying claimed the silver, while the bronze went to Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands. American Dana Vollmer finished last in the eight-woman field.

Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania broke a world record that was set only hours earlier in the women's 50 breaststroke. In the second semifinal heat, Meilutyte ripped off a time of 29.48, beating the mark set in the morning preliminaries by Russia's Yuliya Efimova.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 4, 2013 B13

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