World Championships, Day Six Men’s Finals: Ryan Murphy Headlines Gold-Silver For Team USA In 200 Backstroke With Shaine Casas

Ryan Murphy United States of America celebrates after winning the gold medal in the 100m Backstroke Men Final during the FINA Swimming Short Course World Championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in Melbourne, Australia, December 14th, 2022. Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

A Special Thanks to Deep Blue Media for providing the images from this meet

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World Championships, Day Six Men’s Finals: Ryan Murphy Headlines Sweep For Team USA In 200 Backstroke With Shaine Casas

As the World Short Course Championships progressed in Melbourne, the American men shook off a slow start and built momentum into the back half of the meet. Much of the credit for that scenario belongs to Team USA captain Ryan Murphy, who capped his competition in style on Sunday.

Turning to his powerful underwaters to create space with the field, Murphy mined gold in the 200-meter backstroke, winning his latest title in a time of 1:47.41. That performance handed Murphy a decision over countryman Shaine Casas, who came through with the silver medal in 1:48.01. Completing the podium was Italian Lorenzo Mora, who touched the wall in 1:48.45.

Murphy’s victory in the 100 backstroke completed a sweep of the backstroke events, as the American star earlier won the 50 and 100 distances. It was his showing in the 100 back that gave the United States some momentum after the men’s squad struggled through the first few sessions Down Under. As a captain is expected to do, Murphy simply led by example, and much of the team picked up their performances in helping the United States to the top of the medals table.

En route to his title in the 200 backstroke, Murphy trailed Casas by .07 at the 50-meter mark, but the race belonged to the Olympic champion by the midway point. At the 100, Murphy was in front and his edge built over the back half of the race. With each underwater, Murphy gave himself additional cushion, which was the plan with Casas lurking.

“It’s awesome,” Murphy said of his gold. “When I got the invite (to the meet), I wasn’t sure I was going to come. I had taken a lot of time off this summer and I wasn’t sure I was going to be ready for this. I’m glad that I got back into training and pushed it hard and had a good showing out here. I feel a lot better about the speed than the endurance. I know what I am going to work on over the next few months going into the long course-season. I’m not going to take a few days off over Christmas. For me, it will be head down, one foot in front of the other. I will lift my head up in June and see how it goes.”

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