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Golden Goggles at a Glance: Female Race of the Year

10/30/2013

Each Wednesday until the 2013 Golden Goggle Awards in Los Angeles, USA Swimming will take a closer look at one of the eight awards that will be presented Sunday, Nov. 24. Online fan voting is open through Nov. 15, so be sure to cast your vote.

Today we look at the nominees for Female Race of the Year, an award given to the female swimmer with the greatest single individual race of the year, with special emphasis on the 2013 FINA World Championships. The nominees are:

Missy Franklin – 200m Free – 2013 FINA World Championships
After finishing fourth in the 200m free last summer in London, Missy Franklin was determined to reach the podium in the event at the 2013 FINA World Championships. She did more than that, winning gold with a lifetime best swim of 1:54.81 in Barcelona. She was comfortably in second place at the 50 behind 2012 Olympic silver medalist Camille Muffat, before pushing the second length and grabbing the lead at the halfway mark. Franklin extended her lead over Muffat through the 150m mark and then held off the hard-charging world record holder – Federica Pellegrini of Italy – over the final 50 meters to win the third of her record-setting six gold medals at the World Championships.

Katie Ledecky – 800m Free – 2013 FINA World Championships
Katie Ledecky, who shocked the swimming world by winning gold in the 800m free last summer in London, set the second of her two world records at the 2013 FINA World Championships in the 800m free in Barcelona with a time of 8:13.86. Ledecky and eventual runner-up Lotte Friis of Denmark separated from the field early on with Friis leading until the 650m mark. Over the final 150m, Ledecky surged in front of Friis and put the world record in her sights. Ledecky’s final 50 was her fastest of the race – 29.79 – and secured the world mark by two-tenths of a second.

Katie Ledecky – 1500m Free – 2013 FINA World Championships
Katie Ledecky displayed one of the most impressive international swims in recent memory at the 2013 FINA World Championships when she bettered a six-year-old world record in the 1500m free by six seconds, finishing in 15:36.53. Ledecky and Denmark’s Lotte Friis quickly established themselves as the class of the field, and the duo swam under world-record pace from the start of the race. Friis held a slight edge for the majority of the first 1300 meters with Ledecky patiently waiting to make her move. She did just that with around 200m to go and built her lead over the final four laps before finishing two seconds clear of Friis, who also bested the previous world record.

Haley Anderson – 5K Open Water – 2013 FINA World Championships
After missing out on qualifying for the FINA World Championships roster in the 10K, Haley Anderson was determined to make the most of her 5K opportunity in Barcelona. She swam along the leaders from the 5K start and held a slim lead over a tightly congested pack at the 2.5K mark. After slipping to second early on lap two, Anderson quickly recovered, and it was apparent the race would come down to Anderson and Brazil’s Poliana Okimoto. The two swimmers entered the finish chute together, and Anderson out-touched Okimoto by two-tenths of a second to win Team USA’s first medal of the 2013 FINA World Championships in 56:34.2.