Ryan Murphy on Starting Error That Resulted in 50 Back World Title


We saw an odd turn of events on Night 4 in Melbourne when right as the men’s 50 back final fired off, there was a 2nd beep at the start which signaled the competitors to stop. However, 5 of them swam the full 50 back, including Isaac Cooper (who went 22.49) and Ryan Murphy (initially touching behind Cooper).

World Aquatics eventually came out and said it was a starting error made by an official and that the event would be re-swum later in the session. When the event fired off for the 2nd time, Murphy ended up coming out on top in 22.64, with Cooper touching for silver.

**The connection on zoom was a poor during part of Ryan’s interview and I had to edit part out because we lost connection. Here is a full quote about the situation from Murphy from news.com.au:

“I talked to him real quick after the race but I’m going to make sure to talk to him and just let him know that in my mind he won that race,” Murphy said.

‘It’s definitely a mix of emotions.

“That’s certainly the first time I’ve experienced something like that.

“From my perspective it’s a little bit disappointing the way that it shook out. I feel for Isaac.

“He’s 18 or 19 years old. Like going for your first individual world title. I think that’s huge and an incredible accomplishment.

“What I would tell him is he’s 18. He’s got a bright career ahead of him. He’s a great talent and he’s going to have a lot of opportunities. Obviously it’s disappointing the way this one shook out but I think he’s going to have a lot of world titles in his name come the end of his career.”

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1 year ago

Congratulations Ryan!!!

1 year ago

Maybe Cooper can take all the anger energy and swim a 50 back time trial and get the WJR. He could do it.

Reply to  anonymous
1 year ago

He currently holds the record.

1 year ago

Murphy should give his gold medal to Cooper if he wants to stand behind his words

Reply to  Mark
1 year ago


Reply to  RMS
1 year ago


Reply to  Mark
1 year ago

When it comes down to it, everyone in that final had a second chance at winning it. Unfortunately Cooper couldn’t get it done again, but Murph could. The error isn’t Murphy’s fault, but lies solely with the officials.

1 year ago

Congrats to Murph on getting it done despite the circumstances feel bad for Cooper not getting him on the second attempt but this falls squarely on the officials for the start. Should not have happened at all.

1 year ago

Very unfortunate for Cooper that he couldn’t beat him twice. Tough position to be in on the reswim. Murph made the most of his second chance and deserves the credit for winning when it counted. He is a gracious beast.

1 year ago

I can’t be the only one that thinks it is very disrespectful to cry during an awards ceremony because you didn’t win first place. Disrespectful to Australia and others in the race who would have loved to have a silver medal.

Reply to  Dylan
1 year ago

Next time you feel like crying because you’re rightfully sad and upset remember you’re being disrespectful lol

Reply to  Dylan
1 year ago

He’s young, exhausted and emotions got the best of him. I’m sure it was not his aim to cry on the podium but if I had that happen I would rightfully be disappointed too. I wish his WJR at least stood he still swam that time

The Original Tim
1 year ago

I don’t get the Murphy hate here.

Yes, the first swim was jacked up and he didn’t win it, but everyone had the same chance to race it a second time and got the same amount of rest between the two swims. He came out on top in the second swim, but Cooper had just as much a chance to win it again as Murphy did.

By all accounts Murphy empathized with Cooper and was quite gracious about the whole thing, so unless you’re just on some sort of anti-Murphy crusade, which is odd but ok–you do you, I really don’t get the hate.

Last edited 1 year ago by The Original Tim
Reply to  The Original Tim
1 year ago

I recall him making comments in Tokyo after the 200 back where he said he didn’t think the race was clean. Clearly, trying to imply others of doping, but offering absolutely nothing more than his comment, was sort of cover for his own disappointing 3rd place finish in the 100 and 2nd in 200. I don’t hate him, but that comment left a sour taste.

Last edited 1 year ago by OldNotDead
1 year ago

I don’t quite understand why this signal even exists anymore to be triggered accidentally. Nobody has needed it for the last 20 years or so.
And then also, why wouldn’t you wait until after the 1500m, to give them another 20min to recover?
Reardless, I get that everyone’s mad. And I’m the last person to mind when other countries show the U.S. how it’s done… but at the end of the day, technical diffiulties and errors happen. It’s annoying, but you still have to be a pro and bring your best when it counts.

Reply to  FST
1 year ago

Reminds me of Michael Phelps 200 fly race in Beijing where he had to swim almost the entire race by counting strokes because his goggles filled with water.

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