By Sharon Robb
TOKYO, Japan, August 10, 2018—The comeback of world record holder Ryan Murphy continued on Day Two of the Pan Pacific Championships Friday at the Tatsumi International Swimming Center.
The Bolles alum, after a shaky 2017 season, dominated the 100-meter backstroke to win in 51.94, less than a tenth off his world record. It was a Pan Pacs record and third-fastest swim in history. He was the only swimmer in the field under 52 seconds.
Murphy was coming off sweeping the backstroke events at the Phillips 66 USA Swimming Championships two weeks ago.
Japan’s Ryosuke Irie out-touched Aussie Mitch Larkin for second in 52.78. Larkin finished in 52.88. American Matt Grevers, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, was fourth in 52.99.
The U.S. leads the medal count with 19 (7 gold, 6 silver, 6 bronze) followed by Australia with 11 (4 gold, 5 silver, 2 bronze). The finals will be televised on NBC Saturday at 4 p.m. and Olympic Channel at 8 p.m.
In other races:
Aussie Cate Campbell won the 100-meter freestyle in a Pan Pacs record 52.03 ahead of American Simone Manuel in 52.66 and Canadian teenager Taylor Ruck in 52.72.
In the men’s 100-meter freestyle Aussie Kyle Chalmers won in 48.00. Another Bolles Sharks Club swimmer and Clay High School graduate, Caeleb Dressel and Aussie Jack Cartwright tied for the silver medal in 48.22, qualifying Dressel for his first world championship spot. Dressel bumped Nathan Adrian out of an individual event. Adrian will still go to worlds as a relay swimmer.
Dressel and Murphy will compete at next year’s FINA World Championships in South Korea. Dressel has two more events, the 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley and Murphy competes Sunday in the 200 backstroke.
American Hali Flickinger won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:07.35 and U.S. teammates Katie Drabot was third in 2:08.40. Japan’s Sachi Mochida was second in 2:07.66.
Japan’s Daiya Seto outsprinted Brazilian Leonardo De Deus in the back half to win the 200-meter butterfly, 1:54.34-1:54.89. American Zach Hartung was third in 1:55.05.
Canadian Kylie Masse topped an impressive field to win the 100-meter backstroke in 58.61. Aussie Emily Seebohm was second in 58.72 and American Kathleen Baker was third in 58.83.
Australia won the women’s 800-meter freestyle relay in a Pan Pacs record 7:44.12, beating the Americans and Katie Ledecky in 7:44.37 and Canadians in 7:47.28.
The U.S. team, led by anchor leg Townley Haas, won the 800-meter freestyle relay in 7:04.36. The Aussies were second in 7:04.70 and Japan was third in 7:08.07.
The meet runs through Aug. 14 and features the following federations: Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, People’s Republic of China, Cook Islands, Colombia, Ecuador, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, New Zealand, Oman, Palau, Peru, Philippines, Thailand and the U.S.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com