BARCELONA, Spain — Missy Franklin has become the winningest female swimmer ever at the world championships.
Franklin claimed her sixth gold medal Sunday night, swimming the leadoff leg for the Americans in the 400-meter medley relay. She gave the U.S. a slight lead, and her teammates — Jessica Hardy, Dana Vollmer and Megan Romano — made it look easy from there. The winning time was 3 minutes, 53.23 seconds.
The 18-year-old Franklin improved on her performance at the London Olympics, where she was one of the biggest stars with four golds and a bronze. She eclipsed the women's record for a world meet, which had been shared by Tracy Caulkins (1978) and Libby Trickett (2007).
Franklin also joins Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Kristin Otto as the only swimmers to capture as many as six golds at either worlds or an Olympics.