American Ryan Murphy became the first man or woman to sweep all three backstrokes at one world swimming championships, completing his triple at short course worlds in Melbourne on Sunday.
Murphy, who swept the two Olympic backstrokes in 2016, won the 200m back on the final day of the six-day short course worlds on Sunday. In a U.S. one-two, he clocked 1:47.41 to top Shaine Casas by six tenths of a second. Race video is timestamped above this post. Murphy previously won the 50m and 100m backstrokes.
“I like the 50m and the 100m a lot better than the 200m,” Murphy said, according to World Aquatics.
The 50m back, which is not on the Olympic program, was added to the world championships in 1999.
Short course worlds are in a 25-meter pool, while most major international meets, including the Olympics, are in 50-meter pools. Fields at short course worlds are typically not as strong.
“When I got the invite, I wasn’t sure I was going to come,” said Murphy, who did not compete at last December’s short course worlds. “I had taken a lot of time off this summer, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be ready for this.”
Murphy prevailed in Melbourne in the absence of Russian Yevgeny Rylov, who swept the backstrokes at the Tokyo Olympics. Rylov was banned from international competition for all of 2022 after attending a pro-Vladimir Putin rally in March, while all Russian swimmers continue to be banned due to the war in Ukraine.
Murphy’s other primary rival, Italian Thomas Ceccon, swam events other than the backstrokes in Melbourne. Ceccon broke Murphy’s world record in the 100m back in a 50-meter pool at this past June’s world championships in Budapest.
Also Sunday, the U.S. picked up individual medals from Nic Fink (gold, 50m breaststroke, not an Olympic event), Torri Huske (silver, 100m butterfly), Claire Curzan (silver, 200m back) and Lilly King (bronze, 50m breast).
The swimming season continues in January with a Pro Series event in Knoxville, Tennessee.
SHORT COURSE WORLDS: Full Results
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