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Rio 2016 swimming results: American Ryan Murphy wins gold in men's 200m backstroke

Murphy, the 100m champion, defeated a stacked field to claim the top spot in one of swimming's top sprint events.

USA Swimming's Ryan Murphy won gold in the 200 meter men's backstroke on Thursday night, edging out Australia's Mitch Larkin and Russia's Evgeny Rylov for the win. Murphy touched the wall in 1:53.62. Larkin just barely outreached Rylov, finishing in 1:53.96 to the Russian's 1:53.97.

Thursday's gold solidified Murphy's status as one of the greatest backstrokers in the game. He won the 100m backstroke earlier this week.

Larkin took the lead through the first 99 meters, but Murphy took a .01 second lead at the halfway mark and then blasted through the last 100 meters to leave his competition in the dust. Larkin made a late push -- and would be followed closely by Rylov -- but neither could catch the surging American.

Thursday night's event was one of the rare finals not to feature an American male in either of the top two qualifying spots. Instead, those honors went to Australia's Mitch Larkin and Russia's Evgeny Rylov. USA Swimming standouts Jacob Pebley and Ryan Murphy flanked them in lanes three and six to round out a stacked top half of one of the Games' premier swimming events. Larkin finished first in last year's World Championships.

Mens 200m Backstroke
Place Swimmer Country Time
1 Ryan Murphy USA 1:53.62
2 Mitch Larkin AUS 1:53.96
3 Evgeny Rylov RUS 1:53.97
4 Xu Jiayu CHN 1:55.16
5 Jacob Pebley USA 1:55.52
6 Li Guangyuan CHN 1:55.89
7 Christian Diener GER 1:56.27
8 Ryosuke Irie JPN 1:56.36