Swimming: Missy Franklin claims fifth worlds gold

Gold medallist Missy Franklin of the U.S. (C) poses with other medallists at the the women's 200m backstroke victory ceremony during the World Swimming Championships at the Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona August 3, 2013. Australia's Belinda Hocking (L)
Gold medallist Missy Franklin of the U.S. (C) poses with other medallists at the the women's 200m backstroke victory ceremony during the World Swimming Championships at the Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona August 3, 2013. Australia's Belinda Hocking (L) finished second in the event and took the silver medal, while Canada's Hilary Caldwell finished third and took the bronze. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BARCELONA, Catalonia (AFP) - Missy Franklin of the United States picked up her fifth gold at swimming's world championships in Barcelona on Saturday as she dominated the women's 200m backstroke, her strongest event.

The 18-year-old Olympic champion, who set the world record in winning gold in this event at London 2012, clocked 2min 04.76 in a new championship record.

Australia's Belinda Hocking was 1.90sec back in second place and Canada's Hilary Caldwell 2.04 adrift in third.

"This is awesome. I'm exhausted," said Franklin after her powerful performance, which was 0.7sec off her world record.

"I tried to swim a smart race as always and the time is right where I was in London, so it's good to be back there.

"It's great after the Olympics, that I've shown I've been able to motivate myself again and all the training has been worth it." Having already won 200m backstroke and freestyle golds, as well as victories with the USA in the 4x100 and 4x200m freestyle relays in Barcelona, Franklin can pick up a sixth gold on Sunday in the 4x100m medley relay.

"I'll have tomorrow (Sunday) morning off and get prepared for the relay," she said.

"It's going to be so much fun, it's my favourite relay."