Xu Jiayu Survives Pincer Of U.S. Olympic Champs For 1st China 100 Back Podium

Xu Jiayu by Patrick B. Kraemer

Xu Jiayu attacked from go, turned for home as pace-setter and then survived an American pincer movement of Olympic champions to claim China’s first ever global crown on backstroke among men. The time was more than half a second down on his best, at 52.44, but that was good enough to keep two Olympic champions at bay: the silver went to Matt Grevers, the London 2012 king, in 52.48, the bronze to Ryan Murphy, the Rio 2016 king, in 52.59. The winning margin was the highest in the history of the event back to the start in 1973.

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Xu Jiayu attacked from go, turned for home as pace-setter and then survived an American pincer movement of Olympic champions to claim China’s first ever global crown on backstroke among men. The time was more than half a second down on his best, at 52.44, but that was good enough to keep two Olympic champions at bay: the silver went to Matt Grevers, the London 2012 king, in 52.48, the bronze to Ryan Murphy, the Rio 2016 king, in 52.59. The winning margin was the highest in the history of the event back to the start in 1973.

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