Ryan Murphy takes 200m backstroke gold, sweeps backstrokes in Rio

Ryan Murphy, making his Olympic debut in Rio, earned his second gold medal of the Games on Thursday night in the 200m backstroke. He won the 100m distance earlier in the week. He kept the U.S. streak in this event alive, where he extended it to six in a row.

Murphy stopped the clock at one minute, tk.tk minutes to stay ahead of 2015 world champion in the event, Mitch Larkin of Australia. Russia’s Evgeny Rylov captured the bronze with 1:53.97.

Murphy’s teammate Jacob Pebley, also making his Olympic debut in Rio, finished fifth.


Five different U.S. men have taken gold medals in the 200m backstroke in every Olympic Games for the past two decades: 1996 (Bradley Bridgewater), Lenny Krayzelburg (2000), Aaron Peirsol (2004), Ryan Lochte (2008) and Tyler Clary (2012).

In 2004, Peirsol swept the 100m and 200m backstrokes; the same was done by Krayzelburg in 2000, Rick Carey in 1984 and John Naber in 1976.