Franklin focuses on one event, then wins gold in 200 freestyle

Missy Franklin held off hard-charging Federica Pelligrini to win the 200-meter freestyle Wednesday night, the 18-year-old American claiming her third victory of the world championships and justifying the decision to cut back her program in Barcelona, Spain.

“We’re coming down the mountain now,” Franklin said.

She had been scheduled to swim two races in the evening session: the semifinals of the 50 backstroke, followed about 20 minutes later by the final of the 200 free.

But Franklin and her coach, Todd Schmitz, decided it was best to drop the non-Olympic event so she could focus on a race that’s been the focus of so much work since she just missed a medal at the London Olympics.

Franklin finished fourth last summer – a hundredth of a second off the podium.

This time she was the one touching ahead of everyone else.

Franklin edged ahead at the midway point and held off Pelligrini, the Italian world-record holder, to win in 1 minute, 54.81 seconds, a personal best.


NECBL: Daniel Nevares knocked in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Sanford Mainers (19-22) a 6-5 win over the Ocean State Waves (23-19) at Sanford.

FCBL: T.J. Lynch had a two-run single as part of a four-run eighth inning for the Seacoast Mavericks (20-25) as they rallied for an 8-7 victory over the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide (21-24) at Portsmouth, N.H.

TWILIGHT LEAGUE: Alex Brown and Colin Henry ripped back-to-back two-run doubles to power Aero (6-11-1) to a 6-2 win against Lenders Heating and Ventilating (12-4-1) at Portland.


MLS: Italian powerhouse AS Roma scored in the opening minutes, then added two second-half goals to finish off a 3-1 rout of the best players in Major League Soccer in Kansas City, Kan.


NBA: John Wall, the top overall pick in the 2010 draft after playing one season at Kentucky, signed a contract extension with the Washington Wizards. It is believed to be a max deal, worth about $80 million over five years.

• Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones was arrested in Portland, Ore., after he was seen stomping on a homeless man’s leg, a police spokesman said.

WNBA: Kara Braxton scored 22 points, Cappie Pondexter had 19 and the New York Liberty again dominated the Washington Mystics in an 88-78 victory at Washington.


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA OPEN: Ana Ivanovic advanced to the second round, beating defending champion Dominika Cibulkova 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, at Carlsbad, Calif.

CITI OPEN: Mardy Fish advanced to the third round, beating 12th-seeded Julien Benneteau of France 6-3, 7-5 at Washington.


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