Xu Jiayu Wins Stacked Men’s 100 Back Final Over Rylov, Larkin

World Swimming Championships

Gwangju, Day 3 finals

Xu Jiayu successfully defended his 100 Back Title.
Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Men’s 100m backstroke

It was a race that featured the last three World Champions as well as the reigning Olympic Champion and world record holder. But at the end of the day, China’s Xu Jiayu successfully defended his 100 back world title with a 52.43. It wasn’t a particularly fast time as Xu has been under 52 seconds in the past, but the gold medal will last forever as he now joins Aaron Peirsol as the only swimmers to successfully defend the 100 back at World Championships. Peirsol won three titles from 2003-2007 in this event.

2013 World Champion Matt Grevers, 2015 World Champion Mitch Larkin and 2016 Olympic Champion and world record holder Ryan Murphy were a part of the stacked race, but could not dethrone the Chinese champion. In fact, it was Russia’s Evgeny Rylov with the silver medal at 52.67 while Australia’s Mitch Larkin won the bronze medal at 52.77. Larkin returns to the podium for the first time since winning gold in 2015.

USA’s Murphy went out fastest at 25.05 and was under his world record pace. He was leading for about 75 meters before he tightened up the final 25 and finished in fourth, 0.01 off the podium at 52.78. Grevers finished in fifth at 52.82. Grevers (silver) and Murphy (bronze) will not return to the podium in 2019 for this event. This is the first time the men’s 100 back podium won’t feature an American since 2011.

Japan’s Ryosuke Irie, competing in his sixth straight World Championships final in the 100 back, placed sixth at 53.22. Irie only has one medal in this event as he won bronze in 2011.

Brazil’s Guilherme Guido (53.26) and Romania’s Robert Glinta (54.22) placed seventh and eighth in the final.

1 XU Jiayu People's Republic of China CHN 52.43
2 RYLOV Evgeny Russian Federation RUS 52.67
3 LARKIN Mitchell Australia AUS 52.77
4 MURPHY Ryan United States of America USA 52.78
5 GREVERS Matt United States of America USA 52.82
6 IRIE Ryosuke Japan JPN 53.22
7 GUIDO Guilherme Brazil BRA 53.26
8 GLINTA Robert Romania ROU 54.22

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