Evgeny Rylov is a Russian backstroke specialist and Olympic and world champion.
Rylov earned international recognition at a very young age. As a youth swimmer Rylov held three Junior World Records, and had a major breakout at the 2015 World Championships with a bronze medal performance. Born Sept. 26, 1996 Rylov is considered one of the most promising upcoming swimmers.
World Junior Record Holder
In his junior career Rylov excelled at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics after winning three golds, one silver and breaking two World Junior Records. Rylov won gold in the 100-meter back after tying with Italy’s Simone Sabbioni, and a few days later beat out the competition in the 50-meter back with a new Junior World Record. Within just one hour of his 50 back race, Rylov joined Russian teammates to win the 4×100-meter medley relay title and break his second Junior World Record of the meet. For his final swim of the meet he was out-touched by China’s Li Guangyuan by just .14, and was left with silver.
2015 World Championships (Kazan, Russia)
As his home country was hosting the 2015 World Championships Rylov didn’t have to travel far. He advanced to the championship final of the 100-meter back, finishing 7th overall and within half-a-second of a podium finish. The impressive part of his Championships were in the 200-meter back, where Rylov dropped one second from the semi-finals to the championship final to take bronze, and win his first World Championships medal of his career.
2016 Rio Olympics (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Rylov broke the European record en route to a bronze medal in the 200 meter backstroke at his first Olympic Games. At the half way make he turned in fourth and managed to keep the burners going for the final half of the race. Rylov had a stunning last 50 of 28.72 to solidify a spot on the podium, but he also made huge gains on the leaders USA’s Ryan Murphy and Aussie, Mitch Larkin. They managed to hold him off, just. Rylov finished in 1:53.97 just 0.01 away from the silver medal.
He also swam the 100 meter backstroke, finishing 6th in the final in 52.74 and just missed out on another medal in the 400 meter medley relay. The Russian team finished 4th.
2017 World Championships (Budapest, Hungary)
Rylov became a World Champion in the 200 meter backstroke in Budapest. He touched in a new European record of 1:53.61. He beat out Americans Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley who finished second and third. The Russian went out in a rapid 54.50, over one and a half seconds faster than the rest of the field. That gave him a big enough lead to hold on and take the gold.
On the final night he added a bronze medal in when he joined Kirill Prigoda, Aleksandr Popkov and Vladimir Morozov in the 4×100 meter medley relay. Rylov swam the backstroke leg in a split of 52.89. Russia finished behind USA and Great Britain.
2018 European Championships (Glasgow, United Kingdom)
Rylov continued improving into the 2018 Euros, where he came away with 4 medals, 2 golds and 2 silvers. Individually, he won the 200 back in a championship and European record time of 1:53.36, as well as placing 2nd in the 100 back behind countryman Kliment Kolesnikov. He swam on the finals relay of the winning 4×100 free relay, leading off in 48.62, as well as swimming prelims of the 2nd place 4×100 medley relay.
2018 Short Course World Championships (Hangzhou, China)
In Hangzhou, Rylov once again had a dominant performance. He showed off his speed by winning the 50 back and endurance by winning the 200 back, though he didn’t swim the 100 back individually. He also won 5 medals for Russia on relays, including 2 bronze in the mixed 4×50 medley and free relays, 2 silvers in the 4×50 and 4×100 free relays and gold in the 4×50 medley relay.
2019 World Championships (Gwangju, South Korea)
Rylov started his world championships in the men’s 4×100 free relay, where he split 47.02 on the 4th leg to help Russia get a silver medal. In the men’s 100 back on Day 3, Rylov touched for 2nd in a time of 52.67, earning a silver medal.
In the 200 back, Rylov successfully defended his world title by touching 1st in a time of 1:53.40. Rylov earned his 2nd individual silver in the 50 back, touching .06 behind South Africa’s Zane Waddell.
Rylov led off the finals relay for Russia’s 4×100 mixed medley relay in a career best of 51.97 to help them place 4th, but as it was a mixed relay, the time doesn’t count. Rylov finished out his program in the 4×100 medley relay, where he led off in a time of 52.57 to help Russia earn a bronze medal and a new national record at 3:28.81.
2020 Olympic Games
Rylov started his meet with a historic finish, winning Russia’s first Olympic Gold since 1996. In the 100 back final, Rylov swam a come-from-behind race to touch first at 51.98, a new Russian record. His countryman, Kliment Kolesnikov, finished 2nd, making it a 1-2 finish for Russia.
Rylov kept the good swims going in the 4×200 free relay, swimming the 3rd leg for Russia in the final and splitting 1:45.26, helping them to finish 2nd and earn a silver medal.
Rylov continued his Dominant Games in the 200 back, where he swam a strong race and led start to finish, touching first in the final in 1:52.27 for a new Olympic record to sweep the men’s backstroke, the first Russian to do so in history.