Ryan Murphy Challenges Peirsol’s 200 Back World Record; Swims New Best Time

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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American Ryan Murphy has been on point this week in Tokyo at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. Murphy was just off his best time in the 100 back earlier in the meet, and on Sunday night he took a stab at Aaron Peirsol’s legendary world record from the 2009 Worlds. Peirsol set the almost unbreakable time at 1:51.92 before he retired a year later. Peirsol is one of only three swimmers to break 1:53 in that event and Murphy almost joined him in the club.

Murphy was under world record pace through 100 meters and was within a second at the third turn. But the piano fell on Murphy’s back the last 50, and he faded off pace. But Murphy still swam a best time with his 1:53.57. Murphy improved on his 1:53.62 that he did to win the Olympics two years ago. His time is a new meet record, breaking his time from the prelims.

Murphy’s time puts him second in the world rankings behind Evgeny Rylov of Russia, the 2017 World Champion.

Murphy was well in front of the rest of the field as he finished ahead of home favorite Ryosuke Irie at 1:55.12. Irie is one of the three swimmers who have broken 1:53 in their lifetime. Irie is still consistently one of the best backstrokers in the world at 28-years-old.

American Austin Katz finished with the bronze medal at 1:56.00, but it was not fast enough to surpass Jacob Pebley’s time from Nationals (1:55.68) to get on the World Championship team. Pebley won the B-Final with a 1:57.12.

Australia’s Mitch Larkin (1:56.02) finished just outside the medals in fourth place.

Japan’s Keita Sunama (1:57.03), Australia’s Bradley Woodward (1:58.00), Canada’s Javier Acevedo (1:58.36) and Brazil’s Leonardo De Deus (2:01.56) also swam in the championship final.

2018 World Rankings:

  1. Evgeny Rylov, RUS, 1:53.36
  2. Ryan Murphy, USA, 1:53.57
  3. Ryosuke Irie, JPN, 1:55.12
  4. Mitch Larkin, AUS, 1:55.40
  5. Xu Jiayu, CHN, 1:55.43
  6. Jacob Pebley, USA, 1:55.68
  7. Austin Katz, USA, 1:55.69
  8. Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS, 1:55.83

All-Time Rankings:

  1. Aaron Peirsol, USA, 1:51.92 (2009)
  2. Ryosuke Irie, JPN, 1:52.51 (2009)
  3. Ryan Lochte, USA, 1:52.86 (2011)
  4. Mitch Larkin, AUS, 1:53.17 (2015)
  5. Evgeny Rylov, RUS, 1:53.36 (2018)
  6. Tyler Clary, USA, 1:53.41 (2012)
  7. Ryan Murphy, USA, 1:53.57 (2018)
  8. Xu Jiayu, CHN, 1:54.03 (2017)
200-back-men

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Author: Andy Ross

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Andy Ross is the new man on board at Swimming World. He is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a 2017 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he graduated cum laude.

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