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Continued: Easy does it: Franklin cruises through morning prelims, prepares for tough double at worlds

  • Article by: PAUL NEWBERRY , AP National Writer
  • Last update: July 30, 2013 - 6:05 AM

Le Clos, who touched in 1:56.21, finds it strange to be viewed as the favorite.

"It's a little nerve-racking. I'm not going to lie," le Clos said. "There's many guys out there who can beat me. But I'm going to fight to the end like I always do."

At least he doesn't have to worry about Phelps, who is retired from swimming — at least for now — and jetted out of Barcelona on Tuesday after watching a couple of nights of swimming as a fan.

"It's fun for a change to see him watching from the stands, like I was watching him for so many years," le Clos said.

Sun, who already cruised to an easy win in the 400 free, eased into the final of the 800 free just 0.09 seconds behind Jaeger's time of 7:49.28. Ryan Cochrane of Canada was third, only 0.30 separating the top three, with Michael McBroom of the United States, Ous Mellouli of Tunisia and Pal Joensen of the Faeroe Islands all less than 2 seconds off the pace.

"I feel good," Sun said. "It's the kind of feeling you always have when you swim in the preliminaries."

He knows he can't take anything for granted, though, after teammate Ye Shiwen struggled to a fourth-place finish in the women's 400 IM, an event she dominated at the Olympics.

"I was surprised," Sun said through a translator. "Maybe after the Olympics she was feeling pressure. I also feel that pressure."

In addition to the 18-year-old Franklin going for gold in the 100 back, the evening finals feature two other teenage stars.

Sixteen-year-old Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania is a big favorite in the women's 100 breast, the only drama seeming to be whether she can take down the world record again after she broke it in the semifinals. Katie Ledecky of the United States, also 16, could make a run at the world mark in the 1,500 free after winning gold in the 400.

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