U.S. Olympic Trials: Ryan Murphy & David Plummer On Top In Brawl For The Wall

Ryan Murphy takes the top ticket for the USA in the Rio 2016 100m backstroke battle by Patrick B. Kraemer
Ryan Murphy takes the top ticket for the USA in the Rio 2016 100m backstroke battle by Patrick B. Kraemer

We’ve been calling it the Brawl for the Wall, a three-man main event that was pegged as one of most-anticipated showdowns of the United States Olympic Trials. 2 go, 1 stays home. Matt Grevers, Olympic champion, took bronze and will not defend the crown in Rio. Ryan Murphy and David Plummer will seek to keep a USA winning streak (gold ever since 1996) alive

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Comments

commonwombat

Well, there were some very deflated American fans when their “certain” WR failed to eventuate. Didn’t detract one iota from it being a top race.

Commiserations to Grevers for a very stout defence of his title. Anywhere else, he would be on the plane.

How does this leave things looking at Rio ? Patently, both Murphy and Plummer have to be seen as likely medallists and more than fair to lay the favourites tag on Murphy …….. but a long way from being a secure one.

Larkin remains very much in the equation and he WAS very technically untidy at AUS Trials. IF he swims like that in Rio, he’s certain to be beaten and will be playing for minor coin at best. IF he has his act tidied up as it was in Kazan & late 2015; the chances of the US party being spoiled are much higher than many Americans would care to admit.

kevin roose

What a mouth watering race we have ahead of us the younger gun Murphy 20 and Larkin22 againt the old hard head in Plummer at 30 …..
America again showing the prowess in mens backstroke having 4 out of 5 best times this year ….why is that ?
I hope Larkin doesnt go into the final fastest qualifier he could have the Americans either side of him indeed a daunting scenario

Robbos

Lets remember Larkin did not need at his best, nor have the competition. He had a couple of seconds from next rival.

aswimfan

I would put Murphy as a favorite for gold. I was impressed at how he swam that last 15 m.

kevin roose

Agree Robbo we have not seen the best of Larkin this year yet …..but i also agree with aswimfan Murphy is more of a threat to Larkin than Plummer …..

commonwombat

Not quite that far in the 100 (1.25sec) but valid point Rob

The fact is that he was NOT at his best at AUS Trials (was ‘wandering’ around his lane in both 100 & 200) and these are things he can & should “clean up” for Rio.

Somehow, I don’t think he or Mr Bohl have reason to break out the brown undies on the grounds of this result.

Bad Anon

I think we learnt world records don’t just happen… 52.2 is still incredible… I think the tension of the Olympic final may greet swimmers to race time… Insofar as world records are concerned I’d be stoked if more than 5wr are broken… After all gold medals are more important than WR’s…. I’m sure you’ll recall in Beijing Kirsty Coventry was under world record in ALL her events and only had one gold medal to show four it out of 4 events…. So Murphy/ Plummer have to focus on the touching the wall first in Rio. WR will be a bonus

aswimfan

Bad Anon,
All those swimming under WRs were important for Kirsty Coventry. If she hadn’t swum them, she would have less medals.
I think every swimmer’s aim is always to get to the wall first, and I don’t think that Grevers/Plummer/Murhy were thinking during their swim “I have to break WR… I have to break WR..”

Robbos

Thanks CW, yes 1.25. Larkin was expecting the WR or at least a top time by the Americans. He has stated many times, they are the best backstrokers in the world.

He is gearing to having to go faster then Kazan to beat these guys. RIO will be a great race between these 3.

KeithM

If the American back duo have one advantage it’s the experience of trials, swimming in a hotly contested final (and semis). It’s one thing to blow out an overmatched field and quite another to get your hand on the wall first when the guys on either side of you are applying pressure. And as such I’m actually not surprised the WR didn’t fall. Murphy said in his post race interview that he tried to leave a little bit so he’d have something for the finish. I think if the record falls in Rio it might have a better chance to go on a relay lead-off or a semifinal.

aswimfan

KeithM,

I agree with you. One of the advantages of US trials is producing qualifiers who have passed these crazy pressure-packed meet. No other swim meets are as stressing as US OT. Other swimmers like Larkin will only experience such pressure during the Olympics.

KeithM

Having said that Larkin will have less pressure on him in this race compared to the 200 where he’s going to be the prohibitive favorite. He is the defending world champ and a realistic gold chance in this but it’s not an expected coronation.

Barnabas Mandi

I feel Larkin for both. And Seebohm for both.

Craig Lord

It being the O Games, I feel it will be tight for all contenders 🙂 Crystal balls: throw them away 🙂

Barnabas Mandi

I have none, only my daughter. I hope she won’t throw it away because it’s so heavy 🙂 And Craig, you can understand pretty well that I don’t like my feelings about w200. On the other hand I forgot the f word in swimming, sorry about that. F like football.

Scott Scofield

Yes, as cw likes point out, the American was wrong with his prediction. I wasn’t wrong by much as Murphy was on pace to break the record, just fell off in the last 10 meters. I expected at least one 1:44 in the 200 free, but we had 3 at 1:45. I hope Haas and Dwyer can swim faster in Rio.

Scott Scofield

Also, I have no idea why it displays my name. It’s supposed to be completelyconquered2 as there is no way to reset my password on my account completelyconquered.

kevin roose

Yes i have the same problem Scott , displays your name damn annoying

Blah Blah

This event is going to be insane at the olympics!

Yozhik

Hey, guys don’t jump into conclusion about Missy Franklin. The only thing that can be said by far that she isn’t at her personal bests now. Even if she swims at her PBs at some disciplines it is not enough to compete internationally. I think she understands that and makes her plans accordingly. I’m not sure that if she is even fully tapered for this meet. Her program-minimum is two freestyle relays and 200BK. If she fails with that then there is something to talk about. All other targets – why not to try, but not at the expanse of what is reachable and doable.
Hasn’t surprised anybody that there were no differences between her prelim and final races at 100BK? 200 free looks different in this regard. I expect her to be among first four tonight. If not then it will be to sad. Something is going there. Her college years cannot be excuse. Look who wins finals by far besides Ledecky – NCAA champs.

commonwombat

Scott, I wasn’t referring to you actually but rather the sentiment on various other forums (esp one US based one).

aswimfan

Yozhik,
are you kidding me?
If MF swims her PBs at 100 and 200 back, that means at least silver in 100 back and definite gold in 200 back.
And if she swims PBs in 100 free that means she would represent USA and may get into final.
And if she swims PBs in 200 free that means she would represent USA and in play for medal.

But I agree with you that MF may not be fully tapered, and if that is true, I’d blame it on her coach because by not being fully tapered MF has already lost a chance to defend her gold medal, and the others are in jeopardy as well.

Yozhik

@asf: answering your question – I have no desire to kid or entertain you. And most of the time I don’t want even talk to you.

aswimfan

yozhik,
that’s too bad, because I like having civilized discussions with you.

Yozhik

Don’t worry Aswimfan. I know you will miss me, but there are plenty of people around the world who can’t wait hearing from you.

aswimfan

HI yozhik,
I’m not going to miss you. You are still here reading, posting and responding.

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