World Championships: American Star Ryan Murphy Joins Exclusive Backstroke Club


25 July 2023, 06:35pm

World Championships: American Star Ryan Murphy Joins Exclusive Backstroke Club

Even before he hopped in the water for the final of the 100-meter backstroke at the World Championships on Tuesday night, Ryan Murphy sported Hall of Fame credentials. But the great ones always find a way to do a little more, and that’s what the Cal-Berkeley managed by surging down the stretch to edge Italian Thomas Ceccon for the title.

By claiming his first world crown in the 100 backstroke, Murphy joined an exclusive group of athletes to own Olympic and world titles in the 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke. Murphy swept the backstroke events at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro before adding bronze and silver in the events at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Meanwhile, Murphy has twice won the world championship in the 200 backstroke, accomplishing that feat in 2017 and 2022.

The three other individuals in the club constitute a Who’s Who in the sport. East Germany’s Roland Matthes and the United States’ Lenny Krayzelburg and Aaron Peirsol have also pulled the double-double in Olympic and World Champs competition. Between them, that triumvirate owns 19 Olympic medals.

“It was an incredible race,” Murphy said of his winning effort. “It’s awesome to go against a great field and to get two Americans on the podium. It’s a nice start to my week by getting up on that podium and seeing the USA off to a great start. Hopefully, we are starting to build some momentum and we keep it rolling from here.”

Murphy is a team captain for the United States, a role he has held previously in international competition. It was not surprising, then, that he selflessly focused on the status of Team USA in his post-race comments. Murphy will be back in action later in the meet in the 200 backstroke, and in relay duty.

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