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Swimming: Rylov breaks barren Russian spell with 100m backstroke gold in Tokyo

Russian Evgeny Rylov broke the country's barren gold medal spell in men's swimming on Tuesday (Jul 27), edging out rivals including American defending champion Ryan Murphy in a thrilling 100m backstroke race that was determined at the wall.

Swimming: Rylov breaks barren Russian spell with 100m backstroke gold in Tokyo

Evgeny Rylov of the Russian Olympic Committee celebrates after winning the Tokyo Olympics men's 100m backstroke gold medal at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Jul 27, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Marko Djurica)

TOKYO: Russian Evgeny Rylov broke the country's barren gold medal spell in men's swimming on Tuesday (Jul 27), edging out rivals including American defending champion Ryan Murphy in a thrilling 100m backstroke race that was determined at the wall.

Hitting the wall with a time of 51.98 seconds, Rylov swam from an outside lane to beat fellow Russian Kliment Kolesnikov, who placed second with a time of 52.00 seconds and Murphy who came third with 52.19 seconds.

It is the first time that a Russian man has won a swimming gold in the Olympics since the Atlanta Games in 1996, when Alexander Popov and Denis Pankratov both topped the podium twice.

READ: Dean and Scott deliver British one-two in 200m freestyle at Tokyo Olympics

READ: Australia's McKeown wins 100m backstroke gold in debut Olympics

The 24-year-old Rylov made his Olympic debut in Rio where he placed sixth in the 100m backstroke and won a bronze in the 200m backstroke.

Rylov, who started swimming aged six in Russia's Novotroitsk, will also race the 200m backstroke in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Russian athletes are competing under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) at the Tokyo Olympics as part of sanctions for several doping scandals.

Catch the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 LIVE with 14 dedicated channels on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/tokyo2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Olympics Network.

Source: Reuters/kg

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