BARCELONA – Miss Franklin captured her fourth gold medal at the World Championships when she led the U.S. 4x200-meter freestyle to victory on Thursday night at the Palau Saint Jordi. California’s incoming freshman anchored the U.S. relay, which clocked a time of 7:45.14 to beat second-place Australia (7:47.08) and bronze-medal winning France (7:48.43).
Australia actually held the lead – with the United States second – after three fourths of the relay. But Franklin outswam the Aussies’ Alicia Coutts, 1:54.27-1:57.33, in the anchor leg to propel the U.S. to gold in the last event of the night.
Also on Thursday, Golden Bear sophomore Rachel Bootsma (USA) placed seventh in the 50-meter backstroke final with a time of 28.05. In the 100-meter freestyle semifinals – the first event of the night – Franklin swam the fifth-fastest time (53.78) to qualify for Friday’s final.
In the morning preliminaries, Franklin posted the second-fastest time (53.36) in the 100 free, while fellow incoming freshman Farida Osman (Egypt), clocked the 40th-best time (56.84) and did not advance.
Franklin has also won gold in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay, 100 backstroke and 200 free at worlds.
In all, Cal women have earned nine medals at this year’s World Championships: Franklin’s four, Natalie Coughlin’s gold from the U.S. 4x100-free relay, Elizabeth Pelton’s gold from the U.S. 4x100-free relay (prelim), Dana Vollmer’s bronze in the 100 butterfly, and Lauren Boyle’s bronze medals from the 400 and 1500 freestyles.
The sixth day of the World Championships takes place on Friday, with prelims in the 50 butterfly, 200 back and 800 free; semis in the 50 fly and 200 back; and finals in the 100 free and 200 breaststroke. The eight-day meet ends on Sunday.