Lochte stages gold rush; Franklin suffers first loss
Wearing orange sneakers, Ryan Lochte moved gingerly toward the exit of the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain.
It was the first time he was slow all night.
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“My whole, entire body is hurting,” a moaning Lochte said.
On a night when 18-year-old Missy Franklin finally lost, Lochte turned in an epic performance at the world championships Friday. He swam three races in less than two hours, coming away with two gold medals and the top time in an event he is competing in for the first time at a major international meet.
Lochte won the 200-meter backstroke in 1 minute, 53.79 seconds, posted the fastest time in the semifinals of the 100 butterfly (51.48), and put the Americans ahead to stay with a strong leg in the final of the 800 freestyle relay. Not bad for a guy who took a long break after the London Olympics and slacked off on his training while filming a reality-television show, “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?”
Lochte’s 29th birthday is Saturday.
American Franklin finished fourth in the 100 free behind gold medalist Cate Campbell of Australia, ending a run of four straight victories in Barcelona. Campbell won in 52.34; Franklin’s time was 53.47.
Nathan Adrian (21.60) of Bremerton advanced to Saturday’s final in the 50 free. Florent Manaudou (21.37) of France had the fastest semifinal time.
Oden to play for Miami Heat
Center Greg Oden, the first player drafted in 2007, agreed to terms with the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
Ex-Ohio State standout Oden, 25, has been hampered by a series of knee problems and hasn’t played since Dec. 5, 2009, when he was with Portland. He reportedly will sign a two-year deal with the Heat at the league minimum, $1 million for the 2013-14 season and $1.1 million on a player option for 2014-15.
Magic waives Harrington
In a move designed to save money and create playing time for younger players, the Orlando Magic waived 33-year-old forward Al Harrington. He appeared in 10 games last season, averaging 5.1 points and 2.7 rebounds.
Benitez had heart ailment
A congenital heart ailment that had gone undetected in numerous physical examinations caused the death of standout 27-year-old Ecuador striker Christian Benitez, the national team’s physician said.
Dr. Patricio Maldonado said a second, 2½-hour autopsy performed after Benitez’s body was flown home from Qatar found the athlete died because of problems “that cannot be detected even with very sophisticated exams.”
Benitez died Monday in Qatar, a day after playing his first match with the El Jaish club. He had been admitted to the hospital with severe stomach pains.
Benitez helped Club America win the Mexican championship last season.
Lazio captain is banned
Lazio captain Stefano Mauri, 33, has been banned for six months by the Italian federation for his part in a match-fixing scandal and plans to appeal.
• French wild-card entrant Virginie Razzano, ranked No. 131 in the world, outlasted third-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 7-6 (10-8) in 3 hours, 35 minutes in the Southern California Open tennis quarterfinals in Carlsbad.
• Center Sylvia Fowles led the host Chicago Sky with 32 points and 15 rebounds in an 85-78 WNBA victory over the Washington Mystics.
In other league games, Minnesota beat visiting San Antonio 85-63 for its eighth victory in a row and Liz Cambage scored a career-high 28 points for host Tulsa in a 96-89 victory over Los Angeles.
• Former world-shot put champion Andrei Mikhnevich, 37, of Belarus has been stripped of four world-championship medals from 2006 and 2007 by the IAAF. He was banned for life by the Belarus Athletics Federation in June after testing positive in retests of a 2005 sample.
• Gene Wettstone, retired Penn State men’s gymnastics coach who holds the NCAA record with nine team championships in that sport, died Tuesday in State College, Pa. He was 100.
• Wilford “Whizzer” White, the father of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Danny White and a member of the Arizona State hall of fame, died at the age of 84.
The former running back reportedly died while on an ambulance headed to a Phoenix-area hospital. A specific cause of death has not been released.
When White finished his Arizona State career in 1950, he was the school’s career rushing leader at 3,173 yards. Three Sun Devils have surpassed his total, led by Woody Green (4,188).
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