Even Without Rylov & Kolesnikov, Men’s 100 Back Is Faster Than Ever


Most of us came into the 2022 World Championships thinking that the men’s 100 backstroke race would be diluted in the absence of Tokyo Olympic gold and silver medalists Evgeny Rylov and  Kliment Kolesnikov, as their home country of Russia is banned from competing at this meet.

However, what we got even without their presence was the fastest men’s 100 back race in history.

Obviously, this race was highlighted by Thomas Ceccon breaking Ryan Murphy‘s six-year-old world record in a time of 51.60. But he wasn’t the only person going into the history books from this race.

Read more about Ceccon’s world record here.

Let’s flash back to a day ago, even before the final occurred.

In the men’s 100 back semis, Greek swimmer Apostolos Christou clocked a then-championship record time of 52.09, making him the ninth-fastest performer of all time as of today. Furthermore, Robert Glinta, the eighth finisher from the semis, put up a time of 53.00. That means that it almost took a 52-point to make the finals of this event, something that has never happened before at the Olympics or World Championships. By contrast, it took 53.20 to final at the Tokyo Olympics, and 53.40 at the 2019 World Championships.

But the semis were just the beginning. Where things really went down was when the finals of the 100 back began. Of course, there was Ceccon’s world record. But what also happened was both the silver and bronze medalists, Murphy and Hunter Armstrong, clocked sub-52 times of 51.97 and 51.98 respectively. Out of the 10 sub-52 performances in the event, three happened to come from this race, even without the top-two ranked swimmers from the previous year present.

List Of Sub-52 Performances In The Men’s 100 Back:

  1. Thomas Ceccon, Italy – 51.60 (2022)
  2. Ryan Murphy, United States – 51.85 (2016)
  3. Xu Jiayu, China – 51.86 (2017)
  4. Aaron Peirsol, United States (2009)/Ryan Murphy, United States (2018) – 51.94
  5. Ryan Murphy, United States (2016) / Evgeny Rylov, Russia (2019) / Ryan Murphy, United States (2022) – 51.97
  6. Evgeny Rylov, Russia (2021)/ Hunter Armstrong, United States – 51.98 (2022)

Factoring in Christou’s 52.09 and Ceccon’s 52.12 from the semis, five of the 18-fastest swims in history were set over the last two sessions.

On top of that, four different men made the all-time top 25 performers list by virtue of their swims from Budapest. They include #1 ranked Ceccon (51.60), #5 ranked Armstrong (51.98), #9 ranked Christou (52.09), #17 ranked Yohann Ndoye Brouard (52.50), and #20 ranked Ksawery Masiuk (52.58).

If Rylov and Kolesnikov were to ever return to competition in the near future, could this event get even faster than it was today?

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9 months ago

Wish the Russians were said no one

Reply to  Taa
9 months ago

Were here

9 months ago

How tall is Ceccon? He has to be touching 6’7 or 6’8 if Armstrong is 6’6.

He’s grown so much

Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
9 months ago

Italian Olympic Committee lists him as 6’5″.

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Braden Keith
9 months ago

And can absolutely fly

Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
9 months ago

Armstrong is leaning in the picture, but they both make Murphy look short lol.

9 months ago

Imagine how many guys under 52 if the Russians pulled up… gah dayum

9 months ago

Another example of how everything is much better without russians.

9 months ago

Who says that Paris 2024 is going to anything other that MARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRVELOUS!

9 months ago

crazy ceccon didnt even shave or nothing

Reply to  Pez
9 months ago

He was shaved. He just left his stache. Homage to Coleman !

Last edited 9 months ago by Snarky
Reply to  Snarky
9 months ago

No, he had chest hair as well.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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