FINA World Championships Predictions: Men’s 100 Back

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Ryan Murphy is the Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder in the men’s 100 back, but winning that event at this summer’s FINA World Championships might not be so easy for the 22-year-old.

That’s because China’s Xu Jiayu has thrown down a massive effort already this year, uncorking a 51.86 back in April to come up just one hundredth short of Murphy’s world record. And he didn’t come out of nowhere—Xu was the silver medalist behind Murphy in the event in Rio.

Murphy, meanwhile, has yet to even crack 53 this year in his signature event, and he was beaten by Matt Grevers at U.S. Nationals. Dave Durden, Murphy’s coach at Cal and the head men’s coach for the U.S. World Champs team, isn’t worried. Should he be?

Read below to see what Swimming World’s trio of experts think will happen in Budapest. David RiederJohn Lohn and Andy Ross will each offer their predictions for who will finish on the podium.

Men’s 100 Back

Current Records:

World Record: Ryan Murphy, USA (2016) — 51.85
Championship Record: Aaron Peirsol, USA (2009) — 52.19
American Record: Ryan Murphy (2016) — 51.85

2015 World Champion: Mitch Larkin, AUS — 52.40
2016 Olympic Gold Medalist: Ryan Murphy, USA — 51.97
2017 World No. 1: Xu Jiayu, CHN — 51.86

Swimming World Predictions

David Rieder’s Picks:

Gold: Xu Jiayu, CHN
Silver: Ryan Murphy, USA
Bronze: Mitch Larkin, AUS

John Lohn’s Picks:

Gold: Ryan Murphy, USA
Silver: Xu Jiayu, CHN
Bronze: Matt Grevers, USA

Andy Ross’ Picks:

Gold: Ryan Murphy, USA
Silver: Xu Jiayu, CHN
Bronze: Matt Grevers, USA

Previous Events

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:


    • Joe Stott

      Think Ryan Murphy will get it easy

  1. avatar

    Think the trio of Xu, Murphy and Grevers looks fairly safe bets for the medals. As to their order ….. hard to say. Under normal circumstances, I would’ve leaned Murphy but he hasn’t quite looked fully “on song” this year and that sub52 from Xu has to be respected.

    Larkin can be discounted and is frankly no sure bet to final in both this race and the 200. He took a very long post Rio break and AUS Trials were his first meet back and he was very short of condition and still making the same technical errors of 2016. His Mare Nostrum swims were no better.