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Franklin pulls out of backstroke to focus on freestyle

Missy Franklin of the U.S. swims in the women's 200m freestyle semi-final during the World Swimming Championships at the Sant Jordi arena in
Missy Franklin of the U.S. swims in the women's 200m freestyle semi-final during the World Swimming Championships at the Sant Jordi arena in

BARCELONA (Reuters) - American teenager Missy Franklin pulled out of the 50 meters backstroke semi-finals at the world swimming championships on Wednesday to focus on the 200 freestyle final, a spokeswoman for USA Swimming said.

The 18-year-old, who has already claimed two gold medals at Barcelona's Palau Sant Jordi, was equal 13th-fastest in the heats for the 50 backstroke earlier on Wednesday and told reporters afterwards she was swimming the event just for fun.

Spokeswoman Karen Linhart later confirmed that Franklin had withdrawn to focus on the freestyle final, due to take place shortly after the backstroke semi-finals with only the men's 200 butterfly final in between.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Clare Fallon)

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