Back On The Podium
TOKYO – Ryan Murphy (USA) won his fifth career Olympic medal and second of the 2020 Tokyo Games when he earned silver in the 200-meter backstroke final Thursday night (PT) at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
It was a California affair in the event, as Bryce Mefford (USA) closely followed Murphy with a fourth-place finish in his Olympics debut.
Murphy, the 100 back bronze medalist on Monday, clocked 1:54.15 to finish second behind Evgeny Rylov (ROC, 1:53.27) in Thursday's 200 back final. The 2017 Cal alumnus is now one of three Golden Bears to win five or more career Olympic men's swimming medals, joining Matt Biondi (11) and Nathan Adrian (9). Cal has won 48 all-time Olympic men's swimming medals (24 gold, 16 silver, eight bronze) in total.
— Cal Men's Swim & Dive (@calmenswim) July 30, 2021
Mefford touched the wall in 1:55.49 for fourth place in his lone event of the Games.
Tom Shields (USA) missed out on a finals berth in the 100 butterfly as he placed 15th (51.99) in the semifinals. Shields – a 2013 Cal graduate and the oldest male member of the U.S. swimming roster (30) – pulled off a 20-minute double Thursday morning to qualify for semis in the 100 fly and helped the U.S. to a second-place finish in the mixed 4x100m medley relay heats. Shields is not guaranteed to swim on the U.S. lineup in the mixed 4x100 medley relay final on Friday night (PT) but is medal-eligible if the Americans finish inside the top three.
Zheng Quah (Singapore) placed 34th in the 100 fly heats with a 52.39 finish Thursday, concluding his individual schedule in Tokyo.
Rising Cal sophomore Björn Seeliger (Sweden) will compete in the 50 freestyle heats at 3:18 a.m. PT Friday. The Bears could play a role in the 4x100 medley relay heats Friday morning, though lineups have not been announced as of yet.
200-Meter Backstroke Final
2. Ryan Murphy (1:54.15) – silver medal
4. Bryce Mefford (1:55.49)
100-Meter Butterfly Semifinals
15. Tom Shields (51.99)
100-Meter Butterfly Heats
T12. Tom Shields (51.57) – advanced
34. Zheng Quah (52.39)
4x100-Meter Mixed Medley Relay Heats
2. USA (Tom Shields), 3:41.02 (50.87 fly split) – advanced
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