Swimming: Franklin powers to third worlds gold

Gold medallist Missy Franklin (L) of the U.S. poses with bronze medallist Camille Muffat of France at the women's 200m freestyle victory ceremony during the World Swimming Championships at the Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona July 31, 2013. Missy F
Gold medallist Missy Franklin (L) of the U.S. poses with bronze medallist Camille Muffat of France at the women's 200m freestyle victory ceremony during the World Swimming Championships at the Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona July 31, 2013. Missy Franklin of the USA powered to her third gold at swimming's world championships with victory in the women's 200m freestyle final on Wednesday. - PHOTO: REUTERS

BARCELONA, Catalonia (AFP) - Missy Franklin of the USA powered to her third gold at swimming's world championships with victory in the women's 200m freestyle final on Wednesday.

Franklin, 18, claimed her third title in Barcelona when she touched the wall at 1min 54.81secs with Italy's Federica Pellegrini taking silver at 0.33 back and France's Camille Muffat claiming bronze at 0.91.

Having withdrawn from the 50m backstroke semi-finals earlier in the evening to concentrate on the freestyle final, Franklin turned on the power.

Having dominated the first three lengths to build a clear gap going into the final turn, Franklin held on with both Pellegrini and Muffat desperately attacking her lead.

"It's bitter sweet for me," said Muffat, the Olympic silver medallist in this event.

"Sure it is good to get a medal, but I have had better medals than this one. Hopefully I can go better in (Thursday's) 4x200m relay."

After winning Sunday's 4x100m freestyle relay with the USA team, then taking Tuesday's 100m backstroke final, this was Franklin's third world title with the medley and 4x200m relays, plus the 200m backstroke and 100m freestyle, still to come.