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Olympic Swimming Recap: Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky Lead the U.S. To More Golds

Yahoo Contributor Network

The penultimate day of Olympic swimming at the London Aquatics Centre featured more gold-medal performances by the best swimmers for the U.S. as Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky, and Michael Phelps all earned top-of-the-medal-podium finishes, with only a short schedule of events remaining tomorrow.

Missy Franklin completed a sweep of the women's backstroke events by winning the 200-meter backstroke in a world-record time of 2:04.06.

Anastasia Zueva of Russia finished the race in second place with a clocking of 2:05.92, while American Elizabeth Beisel touched the wall in 2:06.55-good enough for the bronze.

Franklin commented after her win: "I just wanted to go out and do my best and get a best time. It just so happened to be a world record so I couldn't be happier."

The youngest swimmer on the U.S. team, 15-year-old Katie Ledecky, proved that she has the talent to be an Olympic champion by winning the 800-meter freestyle-the longest distance contested by women at the Olympics.

Ledecky's victory seemed virtually assured soon after she entered the water by swimming each length of the pool at a pace the rest of the field could not come close to matching. She touched the finish at 8:14.63, and was just over a half-second outside the world-record time in the event.

The current world-record holder in the 800 free, Great Britain's Rebecca Adlington, pleased the home crowd by taking the bronze medal. Spain's Mireia Belmonte Garcia was the silver medalist.

Finally, Michael Phelps concluded his final individual Olympic event with another gold medal-this one in the 100-meter butterfly-by touching the wall at the finish with a time of 51.21.

Phelps now has 17 gold medals to his credit-11 in individual races-among his Olympic record of 21 podium finishes.

He will try for a fitting end to his Olympic career tomorrow as part of the favored U.S. men's 4x100 meter medley relay squad.

Patrick Hattman covers the Olympics for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and looks forward to more drama and excitement from the second week of competition at the London Games.

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