Pellegrini tops 2 from US in 200 free heats

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LONDON (AP) -- Federica Pellegrini qualified fastest in the 200-meter freestyle preliminaries at the Olympics, keeping the Italian on course to defend her Olympic title.

Pellegrini touched in 1 minute, 57.16 seconds on Monday in the third of five heats, with American teenager Missy Franklin swimming in the lane next to her. But the other American, Allison Schmitt, had the second-quickest time of 1:57.33 in advancing to the evening semifinals on the third day of swimming competition.

Franklin was third best in 1:57.62.