Ryan Murphy made his post-Olympic debut by winning the 200 SCM backstroke during the second playoffs match of the International Swimming League’s third season.
This is Murphy’s season debut for the ISL — he was absent the regular season, but is the biggest addition the LA Current have made to their roster for the playoffs. He most recently competed at the Olympics, where he earned a silver in the LCM 200 backstroke, a bronze in the 100 backstroke, and a gold as part of the 4×100 world record-setting medley relay.
And his debut was a fast one. He swam the 200 backstroke in Saturday’s match, winning first place with a time of 1:48.43, the fastest of the season so far. He was almost two seconds faster than runner-up Christian Diener, and is just two seconds off Evgeny Rylov’s ISL record of 1:46.37, set in 2020.
Murphy said he planned to focus on the back-half of the race, and his splits certainly reflect that. Here are his splits compared with Diener:
|27.92 (53.48)||27.38 (52.51)|
|27.59 (1:21.07)||28.50 (1:21.01)|
|27.36 (1:48.43)||29.13 (1:50.14)|
Murphy is also just off the time he swam in the Final of ISL Season Two — 1:47.41. During the semifinals last year, he also swam slightly faster, racing a 1:47.48 during the second semi. But that season, he participated in the regular season as well, as opposed to his race here being his first.
His time today was faster than his time from the 2019 Grand Final.
Murphy will also swim the SCM 50 backstroke later in the match.