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USA's Missy Franklin takes Olympic gold medal in women's 100-meter backstroke

Odd Andersen / AFP - Getty Images

US swimmer Missy Franklin carries a national flag from the podium after receiving her gold medal after winning the women's 100m backstroke final swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 30, in London.

Toby Melville / Reuters

Missy Franklin of the U.S., who took first place, starts in the women's 100m backstroke final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre, on July 30.

Mark J. Terrill / AP

United States' Missy Franklin competes in the women's 100-meter backstroke swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, on July 30.

Michael Sohn / AP

United States' Missy Franklin listens to the national anthem after receiving her gold medal for the women's 100-meter backstroke swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, on July 30.

AP reports -- Michael Phelps has yet to win a gold medal, and Ryan Lochte's star is fading. So along came Missy Franklin to restore American swim hopes with a gutty performance at the Olympics on Monday night.

Coming back less than 14 minutes after swimming a semifinal heat, the Colorado teenager won the first gold medal of what figures to be a dazzling career, rallying to win the 100-meter backstroke.

"Indescribable," the 17-year-old Franklin said. "I still can't believe that happened. I don't even know what to think. I saw my parents' reaction on the screen and I just started bawling. I can't even think right now."

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Mark J. Terrill / AP

United States' Missy Franklin, left, leads in the women's 100-meter backstroke swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, on July 30.

Mark J. Terrill / AP

United States' Missy Franklin reacts after winning gold in the women's 100-meter backstroke swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, on July 30.

Martin Bureau / AFP - Getty Images

Gold medalist Missy Franklin of the US celebrates with her gold medal on the podium after winning the women's 100m backstroke swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 30, in London.