BARCELONA, Spain — Missy Franklin stands alone.
Franklin claimed her record sixth gold medal of the world championships 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 became the most successful female swimmer ever at the worlds and 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 that had had been shared by Tracy Caulkins, who won five times at the 1978 worlds, and Libby Trickett, who did it in 2007.
Franklin also joins Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and East German Kristin Otto as the only swimmers to capture…
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