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Bears Win Relay Gold With World Record

Jul 31, 2021
Ryan Murphy (left) celebrates the United States' world-record-setting victory in the men's 4x100-meter medley relay Saturday night (PT) in Tokyo.

TOKYO – Ryan Murphy and Tom Shields earned gold medals in the final swimming event of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the United States won the men's 4x100-meter medley relay in world-record fashion Saturday night (PT). The pair of golds brought California's medal total to 12 as swimming competition concluded.
Murphy, swimming the backstroke, put the Americans in charge with a 52.31 split on the opening leg. The U.S. erased a 12-year-old world record in the event (3:27.28) with a time of 3:26.78. Murphy was joined by Michael Andrew (breaststroke), Caeleb Dressel (butterfly) and Zach Apple (freestyle) on the world-record setting relay swim.

Despite not racing in the relay final, Shields earned gold for swimming the butterfly leg of the Americans' prelims qualifier on Friday.
The golds won by Murphy and Shields are the first by Cal men's swimmers in Tokyo; Murphy won bronze and silver in the 100 and 200 back events earlier this week. Murphy's career Olympic medal total now stands at six (four gold, one silver, one bronze), putting him in rarefied air as one of three Cal men's swimmers with as many, joining Matt Biondi (11) and Nathan Adrian (9). Shields is now a two-time Olympic medalist (both gold), having previously swam on the U.S. 4x100 medley relay during prelims at the 2016 Rio Games; the U.S. went on to win gold in the final, earning Shields his first medal five years ago.
The Cal men's swimmers increased their all-time number of Olympic medals to 50 with the pair of golds Saturday night.
Eight Cal men's swimmers – past, present and future – competed in Tokyo. Murphy (one gold, one silver, one bronze) and Shields (one gold) amassed four medals while the eight Golden Bears qualified for four individual finals, six individual semifinals and three relay finals.


4x100-Meter Medley Relay Final
1. USA (3:26.78) – gold medal, world record (Ryan Murphy – 52.31 backstroke split; Tom Shields 51.33 butterfly split in preliminaries)
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