World Championships: Ryan Murphy Claims 200 Back For First Individual World Title; Eyes Russian Ban

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World Championships: Ryan Murphy Claims 200 Back For First Individual World Title; Greenbank & Casas On Rostrum

Ryan Murphy became the sixth American to win the 200 backstroke gold medal as he claimed his first world title.

The Olympic silver medallist was second behind Thomas Ceccon in the 100m but he claimed victory in 1:54.52.

Luke Greenbank moved into second at the 150 and took silver in 1:55.16 with Shaine Casas taking bronze in 1:55.35.

Mewen Tomac led at the first 50 before Murphy went ahead with a clear lead at halfway (55.47), extending that to a body length on the third lap when Greenbank went into second.

The Briton reduced the deficit towards the end of the race but Murphy was a clear winner.

It was his first individual title after previously winning 3 silvers and one bronze medal as well as four relay golds.

Murphy said:

“It’s really special.

“I think this is a really hard sport. For someone like me, I have one focus meet a year – it’s this one so one week out of 52 is what I’m focusing on for the rest of the year.

“So there’s a ton of  work that goes into this – not just on my end – but my coaches, my teammates – so to come in, win a medal for myself and for the people who helped me and my country is really special.”

Murphy was vocal in Tokyo in his criticism of Evgeny Rylov, who won the backstroke double and who isn’t competing in Budapest because of the ban on Russia.

Asked whether he welcomed Russia being suspended for the foreseeable future, Murphy said:

“I think sport has the power to bring people together – something like the Olympics last summer we were able to come together regardless of the fact that covid was going on.

“At the same time you can’t ignore what’s going on in Ukraine, you can’t ignore the impact that is having on some swimmers who are competing  here.

“We’ll see how this situation unfolds and the people that really know a lot about it and are going to make those decisions.”

Greenbank has now been on the podium at every major competition over the last three years.

The Briton, who is coached by Mel Marshall at Loughborough, made his international breakthrough with individual bronze at the 2019 worlds plus medley relay gold.

That was followed in 2021 by European individual silver and medley relay gold and months later in Tokyo, he claimed 200 bronze and relay silver.

The 24-year-old is a consistent big-time performer and he said:

“Consistency is something I’m good at. Mel has described me as boringly consistent, which meant as a compliment but it’s a bit of backhanded compliment.

“How to handle yourself over an eight-day meet is also important. That’s one of my strengths but I have a long way to go and come Paris I want to be challenging for that gold.”

Of the race, he added:

“Yesterday it hurt a lot coming back and I needed to control the first 100 a lot more.

“I felt so much better coming back into it tonight and knee I had a good swim in me. To come away with silver, you can’t ask for more.

“I don;t feel like I’m in the best shape. With not a lot of break after Tokyo and ISL, it messed up the first cycle, and the third cycle I feel like I’m back where I was pre-Tokyo.

“I’m glad I raced ISL. But after Euros, Mel has promised me a month off.”


  1. Ryan Murphy (USA); 1:54.52
  2. Luke Greenbank (GBR); 1:55.16
  3. Shaine Casas (USA); 1:55.35
  4. Brodie Williams (GBR); 1:56.16
  5. Mewen Tomac (FRA); 1:56.35
  6. Adam Telegdy (HUN); 1:56.91
  7. Roman Mityukov (SUI); 1:57.45
  8. Benedek Kovacs (HUN); 1:58.52




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