The 17-year-old American phenom won her first gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke to claim her second medal in as many events despite a daunting schedule.
Franklin narrowly edged Australian Emily Seebohm in a riveting finish, overtaking her in the last 10 meters and finishing in 58.33, just .35 seconds ahead.
The backstroke final came barely 10 minutes after Franklin swam a semifinal in the 200 freestyle. She finished fourth in that race with a sluggish time of 1:57.57, to nab the eighth and final spot in Tuesday’s final.
But Franklin was strong off the block and held off Seebohm’s late charge.
Between Franklin’s swims, Lochte suffered another devastating loss in the 200-meter freestyle — and this time, he walked away empty-handed.
France’s Yannick Agnel blitzed the field to grab gold with a time of 1:43.14, easily besting Park Tae-Hwan of South Korea (1:44.93) and China’s Sun Yang (1:44.93) who won silver and bronze, respectively. Lochte finished fourth (1:45.04) and was no match for Agnel, the same swimmer who overtook him in the final lap of Sunday night’s 4x100-meter freestyle relay. The U.S. won silver in that event, sparking criticism of Lochte for staying out late Saturday to celebrate his gold medal in the 400-meter individual medley.
In the women’s 100-meter breastroke, American Rebecca Soni won silver with a time of 1:05.55, finishing behind 15-year-old Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte (1:05.47). American Breeja Larson was in second place at the turn but faded and finished in sixth (1:06.96).