Swimming at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Men's 200 metre backstroke
|Men's 200 metre backstroke|
at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
|Venue||Olympic Aquatics Stadium|
|Dates||10 August 2016 (heats &|
11 August 2016 (final)
|Competitors||26 from 19 nations|
The American tradition of excellence continued in the distance backstroke, as Ryan Murphy made a historic milestone to claim the country's sixth straight title, and strike a backstroke double for the first time, since Aaron Peirsol did so in 2004. He held off a stiff competition from Australia's reigning world champion Mitch Larkin down the home stretch to earn his second individual gold at the Games with a time of 1:53.62. Leading the race early on the initial length, Larkin pulled closer to Murphy about the midway through the final lap, but could not catch him near the wall to finish with a silver-medal time in 1:53.96. Meanwhile, Russia's Evgeny Rylov finished with the bronze in 1:53.97, a hundredth of a second behind Larkin.
Trailing the top three by over a second, China's Xu Jiayu, runner-up to Murphy in the 100 m backstroke on night three, took the fourth spot in 1:55.16, while his teenage teammate Li Guangyuan posted a sixth-place time in 1:55.89. U.S. swimmer Jacob Pebley, who had upset the defending champion Tyler Clary at the Olympic trials one month earlier, split the Chinese duo to finish fifth with a 1:55.52. Germany's Christian Diener (1:56.27), along with double London 2012 medalist Ryosuke Irie of Japan (1:56.36), rounded out the field.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Aaron Peirsol (USA)||1:51.92||Rome, Italy||31 July 2009|
|Olympic record||Tyler Clary (USA)||1:53.41||London, United Kingdom||2 August 2012|
|1||5||Ryan Murphy||United States||1:55.15||Q|
|6||7||Leonardo de Deus||Brazil||1:57.67|
|3||3||Jacob Pebley||United States||1:54.92||Q|
|8||8||Corey Main||New Zealand||1:58.08|
|6||Ryan Murphy||United States||1:53.62|
|5||3||Jacob Pebley||United States||1:55.52|
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