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BARCELONA, Spain, July 30. IT’s been awhile since the Americans stood atop the men’s 100-meter backstroke podium, but tonight Matt Grevers and David Plummer made it a 1-2 finish at the FINA World Championships.
Grevers turned in a smoking time of 52.93 for the win, while Plummer took second in 53.12. Both finished ahead of defending champion Jeremy Stravius, who wound up third in 53.21. It’s the first time since an Aaron Peirsol threepeat from 2003, 2005, 2007, that the U.S. has won the world title in the event. A U.S. 1-2 isn’t rare in the event either as Robert Jackson, Peter Rocca (1978), Peirsol, Randall Bal (2005) and Peirsol, Ryan Lochte (2007) all have pulled off the feat for the Stars and Stripes.
The top three times were a full second off the blazing times pulled in last year, including a textile best 52.08 from Grevers last summer, but the U.S. did what it needed to do to pull off the 1-2.
Grevers definitely has had his mind elsewhere for the bulk of his post-Olympic year, having had a wedding for the ages to match his proposal to now-wife Annie Chandler. This is a typical occurrence the year at the Olympics for veteran swimmers like Grevers. It’s a testament to Grevers’ talent that he was able to pull off the win with limited training.
Japan’s Ryosuke Irie (53.29), France’s Camille Lacourt (53.51), Australia’s Ashley Delaney (53.55), Japan’s Kosuke Hagino (53.93) and New Zealand’s Gareth Kean (54.25) made up the rest of the championship finale.