SHANGHAI (AP) ― Michael Phelps easily won the 100-meter butterfly, then ceded the spotlight to Missy Franklin, swimming’s newest breakout star who made a splash on her final night at the world championships.
Without Milorad Cavic pushing him, Phelps scowled upon seeing his time of 50.71 seconds Saturday night. Too slow for his liking, it was still good enough to earn him a second individual gold medal and his sixth overall with one day remaining in the meet.
Michael Phelps of the U.S. competes in the 100 m butterfly final. (Xinhua-Yonhap News)
Franklin won two more golds to leave the worlds with five medals overall ― three gold, a silver and a bronze. As he watched her, Phelps recalled his first world meet in 2001 as a 15-year-old who set a world record.
“I kind of remember myself being like that, full of energy all the time,” he said. “She’s just happy, just enjoying everything, she’s never tired, she’s always swimming fast. She’s really been able to come on the scene strong. I’ve said this all along, she’s a stud.”
With a nickname to match ― “Missile Missy,” bestowed by her father four years ago.
The 16-year-old phenom has energized the entire U.S. team and coaching staff with her bubbly personality, wide smile revealing a mouth full of braces, and impressive maturity.
“She’s genuinely happy and excited to race, more so than any swimmer on this team,” U.S. women’s co-captain Natalie Coughlin said. “It’s unbelievably refreshing to have her energy on the team.”