2019 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- All sports: Friday, July 12 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- Pool swimming: Sunday, July 21 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- The Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center, Gwangju, Korea
- Meet site
- FinaTV Live Stream
- Live results
MEN’S 200 Backstroke
- World Record: 1:51.92, Aaron Peirsol (USA), 2009
- World Championships Record: 1:51.92, Aaron Peirsol (USA), 2009
- Defending 2017 World Champion: Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 1:53.61
Gwangju sets the stage for a battle between the USA’s Olympic champion Ryan Murphy and Russia’s defending World champion Evgeny Rylov in the 200 back. Murphy had an off year in 2017, not matching his Olympic performances, as he took silver. Ahead of him, Rylov earned his first World Championships title. Murphy came back with new momentum in 2018 as he set a personal best 1:53.57 at the 2018 Pan Pacs, while Rylov also lowered his best to a 1:53.36 at the 2018 European Championships. This year, Rylov ranks #1 in the World with his 1:54.00 from Russian Nationals. Murphy is currently #9 with a 1:56.16, however, he hasn’t needed a taper meet since last summer since the U.S. did not hold a trials meet this year.
The 2nd-ranked man in the world this year, Australia’s Mitch Larkin, was also a medalist (bronze) in this event in 2017 and won the title in 2015. Larkin took the silver in this race in Rio behind Murphy. He’s one of several seasoned backstroke veterans to return to the field this season. China’s Xu Jiayu, who won the 100 back in 2017, is ranked just behind Larkin in 2019. They’ve each been 1:55 this year, as have Great Britain’s Luke Greenbank and Japan’s Olympic bronze medalist Ryosuke Irie. Of those men, Larkin has the fastest best time over the last 4 years with his 1:53.17 from 2016. Irie has been as fast as 1:52.51 (2009) in his career, but in recent seasons he’s been in the mid-1:50s in this event and finished 7th in the event in 2017. Greenbank swam his best time this year in April.
Irie’s Japanese teammate Keita Sunama has been within tenths of his best this season and has a good shot at making the final. Sunama swam his personal best 1:55.54 at the Asian Games last year. The USA also has a good chance at getting 2 in with Olympic finalist Jacob Pebley in the mix. Like Murphy, Pebley hasn’t had to taper for a trials meet this year. His season best is a 12th-ranked 1:56.35. Pebley was the bronze medalist in this race in 2017.
Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys is another returning finalist in this event. He swam his lifetime best 1:56.11 in this event at 2017 Worlds and wound up placing 8th in the final. China’s Li Guangyuan and Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki look to return to the final after making the top 8 at 2015 Worlds.
TOP 8 PICKS:
|Place||Swimmer||Country||Season Best||Lifetime Best|