Xu Ties Irie’s Meet Record to Break Japan’s Stranglehold on 100 Back


China’s Xu Jiayu beat the two-time defending champion Ryosuke Irie on Sunday evening at the 2018 Asian Games, and in the process tied his meet Record in the men’s 100 meter backstroke final.

Xu swam a 52.34, which matches the record that Irie did at the 2014 edition of the meet. Xu was still well-short of his best time of 51.86 in the event that he swam at the 2017 Chinese Championships. That swim was .01 from Ryan Murphy’s World Record.

Ironically, Xu and Irie were ranked 1-2 in the world in 2014 with matching 52.34s that year as well, though Xu’s wasn’t done at the Asian Games.

Xu goes out much faster than does Irie, as the record comparison below shows.

  • Xu – New Record – 25.16/27.18 = 52.34
  • Irie – Old Record – 25.61/26.73 = 52.34

Irie split that same 25.61 in Sunday’s final as he did 4 years ago, but the smooth-stroking 28-year old couldn’t come back quite as fast, finishing 2nd in 52.53.

This marks the second time since the original 1951 edition of the Asian Games (where Japan didn’t participate) that the Japanese haven’t had 2 medalists in this 100 back. The other occasion was 1998, where Japan didn’t medal at all (nor did China). South Korea’s Juho Lee took 3rd in 54.52. Japan has still won 14 out of the 18 gold medals in the event in history.

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Please see 1998 results, no Japan on podium for 100 back

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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