Team USA’s Murphy completes sweep of 100, 200 backstroke events
Having already won the 100 meter backstroke earlier this week, American Ryan Murphy completed the sweep of the Olympic backstroke events Thursday night.
Murphy won the 200 meter back with a time of 1:53.62, holding off a challenge from Australia’s Mitch Larkin over the final 50 meters to do so. Larkin finished in 1:53.96 to earn his first medal of these Olympics after finishing fourth in the 100 back.
Russia’s Evgeny Rylov, who like Larkin failed to medal in the 100 back, took bronze with a time of 1:53.97 as he just missed out on silver. Murphy’s win extends the United States’ gold medal streak in the 200 back to six consecutive Olympic Games, with Brad Bridgewater beginning the run in 1996. Murphy is also the fifth swimmer to win both the 100 and 200 back in the same Olympics, with the most recent being Aaron Piersol in 2004.
All five swimmers to accomplish that feat are American. Jacob Pebley finished fifth with a time of 1:55.52.