Ryan Murphy Sets American Record With Second-Fastest 50 Back Of All-Time


LA Current swimmer Ryan Murphy produced the second-fastest 50 backstroke swim in history to win the event at the ISL Grand Final, resetting his American Record in a time of 22.54.

Murphy had set the previous record at the 2018 Short Course World Championships in 22.63, which, while it was the official AR, was not the fastest time ever done by an American.

That distinction belonged to Peter Marshall, who set a new world record in 22.61 back in 2009. However, that swim was not recognized as the official American Record because it was done in November of ’09, during the period in which USA Swimming stopped recognizing national records due to the super-suits.

(It’s worth noting that Rebecca Soni‘s world record in the women’s 200 breaststroke was set during the same period, and was reportedly only called an American Record as well due to the fact that it was a world record. While Marshall’s swim was also a world record, it was never an officially recognized as a national record, for whatever reason.)

Murphy’s 22.54 puts him #2 all-time behind Florent Manaudou, who slaughtered the world record in 2014 in 22.22 — a time no one has seriously approached since.

A three-time Olympic gold medalist in 2016, Murphy jumps up three spots in the event’s historical rankings, moving past Guilherme GuidoEvgeny Rylov and Marshall.

All-Time Performers, Men’s 50 Backstroke (SCM)

Rank Swimmer Time Year
1 Florent Manaudou (FRA) 22.22 2014
2 Ryan Murphy (USA) 22.54 2020
3 Guilherme Guido (BRA) 22.55 2019
4 Evgeny Rylov (RUS) 22.58 2018
5 Peter Marshall (USA) 22.61 2009

Manaudou has strayed away from racing the 50 back over the years since setting the record, and was absent in today’s race despite being present at the meet, but both Guido and Rylov were in action, tying for third in 23.02.

Finishing second was another American, the Cali Condors’ Coleman Stewart, who had a brief feud with Murphy after last week’s skins race (which has since blown over). Stewart established a personal best time of 22.76, tying him for 10th all-time.


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Coach Mike 1952
2 years ago

James, you nailed it with the comment “Murphy’s 22.54 puts him #2 all-time behind Florent Manaudou, who slaughtered the world record in 2014 in 22.22 — a time no one has seriously approached since.” Emphasis on the word “slaughtered”.

2 years ago

I wonder why Manaudou has left the 50 back alone so far since his return. Not saying he’s in 22.2 form, but he’d be right in the mix for winning the event.

Reply to  MTK
2 years ago

iirc he swam in at least once during the isl mathces. either individual or skins. and i dont think he could win, maybe top 4

2 years ago

Honestly if ens picks back skins they could just throw manaudou in there with kolesnikov

Reply to  MX4x50relay
2 years ago

Rylov seems much more likely than Manaudou. He got second in the 50 back at Gwangju

2 years ago

He is a class act swimmer. Happy for him!

Swimming Guy
2 years ago

Full video
Audio is messed up but its the best I can do.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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