Olympics: Franklin adds second gold with 4×200 freestyle relay

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Missy Franklin was at it again Wednesday, collecting her second gold medal of the Olympics with her 4×200 freestyle teammates.

Franklin, the 17-year-old who attends Aurora’s Regis Jesuit High School, led off the finals and put her team in good position before Dana Vollmer, Shannon Vreeland and Allison Schmitt finished off a performance that finished with an Olympic record time of 7 minutes, 42.92 seconds.

With her second gold — joining the individual one she took in the 100 backstroke — to go with a bronze with the 4×100 freestyle relay, is halfway toward matching Natalie Coughlin’s record of six medals for an American woman in one Olympics. Coughlin accomplished the feat in Beijing in 2008.

Franklin still has the 100 meter freestyle final on Tuesday, plus the 200 meter backstroke and the 4×100 medley relay left.

In the 4×200 relay, Schmitt — who won the individual 200 freestyle on Tuesday — chased down Australia’s Alicia Coutts to give the Americans gold. She dove in the water about a half-second behind, but passed Coutts on their first return lap and won going away in 7:42.92. The Australians settled for another silver in 7:44.41, while France took the bronze.

Schmitt is turning into one of the biggest American stars of the games, picking up her second gold to go along with a silver and a bronze. Franklin picked up her third medal of the Olympics and Vollmer claimed her second gold.

“Allison is a fighter and she can push through anything,” Franklin said. “We had total faith in her.”

The American foursome took down the previously existing record of 7:44.31 set by Stephanie Rice, Bronte Barratt, Linda Mackenzie and Kylie Palmer of Australia on Aug. 14, 2008.

Paul Newberry of The Associated Press contributed to this report