Welcome To The Club: Ryan Murphy Finishes Sweep With 1:53.62 In 200 Backstroke

Ryan Murphy of the USA - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Ryan Murphy joined an exclusive club by becoming a double backstroke champion at a single Olympiad, and also extended the United States’ winning streak in the 200 backstroke to six.

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Ryan Murphy joined an exclusive club by becoming a double backstroke champion at a single Olympiad, and also extended the United States’ winning streak in the 200 backstroke to six.



I’ve just witnessed greatness perfected.

4 times in a row for Michael Phelps.


Oh my greatness. That was stunning.


Amazing Phelps. Destroyed the field.








The biggest shock in swimming history.


Can there be a stranger result than no C1 and C2 medalling, and US / Canadian gold?


Oh god… I’m so sad now


This is not right *crying


I’m in complete and utter shock.


Cate’s went out too fast 24.7 on the feet .. are you kidding me?

And Manuel so smart, drafting on Cate while Cate..again.. swam very close to the lane line


Ok.. Move over Chalmers.. This is the most shocking result of the Olympics.


Penny. My word. Talk about handling pressure.

Can you imagine swimming 1.3 seconds off your PB

Bad Anon

The most shocking result… My picks went up im smoke…. Sjostrom one gold, one silver one bronze… Not too shabby… And an American swims a 52 when it matters most!!!!!!!
Even Seebohm was swimming 58s and couldnt replicate that when it mattered. Team Australia is crushed, just Larkin’s silver this session….


When was the last time teenagers won the 100 free, and a 31 year old won the 200 im???


I need to update my most shocking swimming results of each Olympics:

1984: Jon Sieben won and beat Michael Gross
1988: Duncan Armstrong won and beat Biondi, Holmertz, Gross
1992: Kyoko Iwasaki won w200 breast
1996: Michelle Smith*
2000: MIsty Hyman beat Susie O’Neill in 200 fly
2004: South Africa won m4x100 free
2008: Soni beating Jones in 200 breast (Adlington winning 400 free in close second)
2012: Le Clos beating Phelps in 200 fly.
2016: Penny Oleksiak and Simone Manuel beating Cate/Bronte/Sarah

The last one hurts so much. Hikksss.


Sjostrom has medaled in every individual events she competed.
If she medals in 50 free, she will become the first female swimmer to medal in 50/100/200 distances at an Olympics.


Updated list of current world champions shut out of medals:

Bronte Campbell (100 free)
Emily Seebohm (100 and 200 back)
Mitch Larkin (100 back)
Ning Zetao (100 free)
James Guy (200 free)
Marco Koch (200 breast)
Camille Lacourt (50 back world champion and worlds silver in 100 back)
Laszlo Cseh (200 fly)
Kanako Watanabe (200 breast)

Being current world champion is really not a good omen in this Olympics.

Blah Blah

Called Manuel medal so can’t say I was surprised Manuel won a medal 🙂 Gold was as bit surprising though.


Cate why oh why did you choose to perform your absolute worst swim in four years at this very race????????

Bad Anon

President Obama will be so proud of Simone Manuel 🙂
Extraordinary things are indeed possible…..


Oleksiak winning = no surprise. Manuel = WTF

C2 was no surprise … she’s been battling all year. C1 ….. choked; I wish I could say otherwise but that would be lying.

There are going to be any of number of issues raised in the inevitable post mortems; some organisational (like timing of Trials) but when it all boils down, the swimmer needs to have done the work and have the necessary self belief to withstand whatever is happening to others.

Team momentum, I suspect, has been a key factor. It works both ways, feeding off both successes AND disappointments. As a growing number of leading names have continued to fall short; there is little doubt that the psychological pressure has flowed onto others … with very few being able to withstand it.


Remember how a while back, I invoked the name of Hanna Maria Seppala and talked about how things can get little weird in the big championship finals of the women’s 100 free and a bunch of people were like C1 and C2 are a lock so only Ranomi and Sarah S should even bother thinking they’ve got a shot…

I think I need to start doing the sports books from time to time.

Blah Blah

C1 was a surprise . The rest was not. Manuel looked great in prelims and semi. As did penny. The rest didn’t look strong .


Australian top swimmers have become so fragile in these past two Olympics.
They were pretty tough in 2000-2004-2008

Maybe they’ve been treated with Kid gloves all the time?
See mcevoy. Why shouldn’t he swum 4×200 final?
He’s not a porcelain doll.
Now compare with Sjsotrom. She’d swum 3x100fly, 4x100free, 5x200free before she swam this 100 free fly. Ditto other swimmers like Oleksiak, Phelps, etc.

I’m still in shock over Cate’s loss, but after some thinking, what hurt me the most is not that Oleksiak/Manuel beat her, but because she just fell apart.
I agree with CW, Cate just got spooked, and fell apart on the last lap.

I mean, there’s no other reason for swimming 53.2 in an Olympics final. She could swim that time wearing weight belt and anchor any day (to borrow Bill Bell’s words).


At 16 years and 2 months, Penny Oleksiak is the youngest ever w100m freestyle Olympics champion.

The second youngest, Carrie Steinseifer at 16 yo 5 months, was Olympics champion at the boycotted 1984 Los Angeles. Coincidentally, Steinseifer also shared the 100 free gold with Nancy Hogshead.


Wow. I never thought our Campbell sisters would be beaten on the world’s biggest stage. Goes to show you that anything can happen and often does at the Olympics. Mitch Larkin swam a far better race to claim silver in the 200back. Another Aussie world champ beaten for the Olympic gold. Not only Aussies either. Dare we say some of these swimmers are choking?



Clearly many of them are choking. Some thrives in pressure-cooker enviroenment, some wilt.
We can now put Cate and Cam into the “wilting under pressure” box. would have never imagined.

We know about Seebohm and her choking habit.


Now watch Cate re-break her WR in the next year.


This may sound harsh but AUS swimmers are “coddled” to a degree and are always liable to receive major shocks to the system when it comes to the big time.

Coddled in what way(s) ?:

– Firstly, they don’t race nearly enough, and the level of domestic competition is such that they are rarely pushed sufficiently hard to make finals.

– Historically, too many AUS swimmers have “begged off” racing short course and often been “enabled” by coaches who complain “they don’t get into their stroke”. Maybe so, and SC should never be the “be all & end all” but it sharpens key races skills; an area where all too many AUS swimmers (inc greats) have fallen down and cost medals at top level.

The issue of altering Trials dates SHOULD definitely be heavily considered but it is not a fix all in itself. You would also need to switch the entire AUS competition season accordingly which may take a year or two to work around.

Will officials/funding bodies/sponsors be willing to live with the short term pain ?? Then again, AUS Swimming has probably hits its lowest nadir since Montreal. Yes, Seoul was only 3 medals total but that was the last hurrah of GDR & the expectations were accordingly much lower.

What IS interesting is that the 2 individual gold medallists are NON Queenslanders ….. very curious and telling !


A couple of further thoughts to put out there.

Have some Australians, consciously or unconsciously, come to believe their own publicity ?

AUS media has continued to build up prominent performers and arguably this team has become overly media friendly … to the point of counterproductive.

Was it necessary to have so many stories from the camp at Auburn ? Was it necessary to go to the media re every little niggle in the lead-in sometimes to the extent of seeming somewhat precious ?

Might they be better served taking a far more no nonsense approach, with media time on a much more “when required to do so” basis. Maybe the loss of a TV contract would not be a bad thing over the short/medium term


We do not race against other countries anywhere near enough.. Used to swim in the American Duel in the Pool. No more. Used to have swimmers at the Mare Nostrum swim meet. Not now for at least last two years. The only meet our swimmers attend outside of Australia, to my knowledge is the Santa Clara meet in California. Oops forgot Pan Pacific Games as well.


Totally agree CW. For so long I have been saying look at why the USA is so successful. Trials before major meets should be a lot closer to the event. So many of our swimmers are well off their best when it comes to performing on the big stage.
Second of all we need to be competing on a more regular basis short or long course. Maybe we need to follow the approach of our athletics team where a number of them have been competing in a number of lead up events.
Finally we need to toughen up some of our swimmers so they are use to swimming more than one event. A number of swimmers from some countries have had to swim relay heats as well but have still been able to perform.


Australian swimmers don’t race nowhere nearly enough. This has been established in the past few years.
Even Ian Thorpe, who didn’t need any race practice to be successful due to his immense talent, used to participate in the world cup series and mare nostrum.
It’s not just race skills to be gained from racing, but also how to perform in pressured environment.

The Americans are used to race week in week out in highly pressured environment at NCAA and/or many USA swimming national or local meets. The europeans have mare nostrum, seven hills, european champs, and various national/regional meets where everyone can participate.
Even Ryan Murphy who had numerous NCAA meets as race practice were willing to go to a lot of US and Canadian meets this year to race.

It’s not just the quantity of the races, but more importantly the quality of the opponents that give extra pressure.

Chalmers won 100 on the basis of his fearless youth and talent -similar to Oleksiak-, but if he doesn’t race more often, he’ll end up like the other Aussie sprinters. How many times have james roberts, magnussen etc raced in the past year?

And now we know McEvoy choked:

I also agree with the proposal to move the AUS trials much closer to the Olympics. One advantage is to select the in-form swimmers, and another advantage is to limit their media exposure. I understand that McEvoy did many media and commercial activities after the trials, not unlike Magnussen. Maybe he started to believe every media hype, even if he is not the type.
One of silver linings that Chalmers didn’t break 48 at the trials was minimizing media and public pressure, as someone here mentioned. There was not much hype about Chalmers pre-Rio.


Australian coaches have this strange idea in their heads that their top swimmers are too precious and cannot be expected to perform at their best in their individual event and a relay in quick succession. Well, here are some facts:

– Great Britain’s Duncan Scott swam a national record 48.01 in the 100FS heats then backed up later in the session and swam a 1.45.05 split in the 4X200. In the evening session he swam a low 48 to make it through to the final then in the relay final did another 1.45.05 split

– Penny Oleksiak with no pedigree in the 200FS swam a 1.54 anchor leg to give Canada a surprise bronze medal in the 4X200 straight after doing a PB in the semi of the 100FS. The next day she returns and wins a gold medal in the 100

– Michael Phelps can win gold in the 200BF then barely half an hour later swim a 1.45 split in the 4X200. And he’s no spring chicken at 31

I can come up with other examples.

Australian should have swum both McEvoy and Chalmers in the 4X200FS after their teammates did some very uninspiring times in the relay heats. They would have won silver and possibly pushed the USA for gold. Madeleine Groves should have been swum in the women’s 4X200. She probably wouldn’t have elevated Australia from silver to gold but it would have been a closer run thing.

More hard racing and less mollycoddling would do the Australian team a world of good.


In light of the news by Jacco that McEvoy choked and not sick, it is even more baffling they didn’t swim in the 4×200 final. BAFFLING.
And yes, especially since they knew that Chalmers was in form.

USA coaches always swim their in-form swimmers for relays, even if it causes controversies, while Australian coaches’ relay selection has always been questionable at best.

Who knew, had Mcevoy swum 4×200 and won silver, it made him more relax for the 100 free final the next day.


We have heard so much in the media about how toxic our 2012 team was, yet they still managed to win 10 medals ( one gold). We are going to struggle to win ten medals now. Especially the way our women’s medley relay is unravelling. Fingers crossed for Mack Horton and our mens medley relay.

Blah Blah

The time in between trials and olympics in my opinion is the most likely culprit for the poor performance overall. However, in C1’s case, she swam great in prelims and semis, that was just a choke job/going out too fast trying to break the WR again.


Longtstroke, I would not have necessarily have used Chalmers in the 4×200 final; his only experience in that event was a 1.50 blow-out at World Juniors. However, I might’ve given him a test run in the heats and taken it from there if he did OK. If this is the truth re McEvoy, then what were the lines of communication that led to the 4×200 decision ?

ASF, re Thorpe; the history was actually mixed. Under Doug Frost; he was made to go out and race whereas Tracey Menzies proved to be an “enabler” who enthused about “beautiful blocks of training” without cognisance that even his race skills proved deficient at times.

Ladies & gents; I’ve made the comment in the past that the London scorecard was not the abject disaster many were bewailing but rather a return to “normal transmission”. AUS has NOT always been 2nd banana to the US; only over certain cycles of maybe a decade or so before resuming a position back in the 2nd division.

Even in “big haul” days, these numbers have been due to a few leading lights having “pay days” when it counts rather than a wide spread of medals across the team. What has happened here is that almost all of them have massively dropped the ball. What is the shock is that its the women’s side that has collapsed into a complete “funk” for the first time in over 25 years; whereas its usually been the men’s team that is erratic.


Yeah, I predicted around6-7 golds for Australia, similar to Kazan haul. Anything more is a bonus, anything less is poor.
That 6-7 was a conservative prediction.

Australia is performing poor.

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