Ryan Murphy delivered the performance of the evening at day two of the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo, setting a new meet record in the men’s 100-meter backstroke for the second time in a matter of hours on Friday.
Murphy first beat the Pan Pacs record with his morning prelims swim of 52.19 seconds. The three-time Olympic champion and world record holder then swam even faster in the final and beat his brand new record before the ink had time to dry. He was on pace to beat his world record of 51.85, set at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, but fell just under and finished in 51.94, which is still tied for the third-fastest performance of all time.
His was one of nine medals U.S. swimmers won on day two of Pan Pacs, where Team USA members are battling it out for spots on the team that will compete at the 2019 world championships.
Olympian Hali Flickinger delivered the first gold medal of the evening for the U.S., winning the women’s 200 butterfly in 2:07.35. She led from start to finish, while Katie Drabot pulled in third with a time of 2:08.40. Both will compete in the event at the world championships.
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The U.S. took silver medals in both the men’s and women’s 100 freestyle.
Olympic champion Simone Manuel found herself chasing Australia’s Cate Campbell midway through the race, but Campbell wasn’t to be stopped, beating her own meet record with a blazing fast time of 52.03. Manuel finished second in 52.66.
In the men’s race, Australian Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers took the gold in 48.00 while reigning world champion Caeleb Dressel and Australia’s Jack Cartwright both hit the wall at 48.22 to tie for the silver medal.
Zach Harting swam a 1:55.05 in the men’s 200 butterfly to win the bronze and earn his spot on the world team. Kathleen Baker was third in the women’s 200 fly, finishing in 58.83 to earn her worlds spot as well.
The night ended with the two 4x200 freestyles, both of which resulted in U.S. medals.
Katie Ledecky began her anchor leg with a nearly three-second deficit and still nearly caught the Australians, but ultimately the U.S. took second. Australia broke the Pan Pacs record, set by the U.S. in 2014 (7:46.40), with its winning time of 7:44.12, while the U.S. also swam under the record with its silver-medal time of 7:44.37.
The U.S. men’s team of Andrew Seliskar, Blake Pieroni, Zach Apple and Townley Haas rounded out the evening with the final gold medal of the night, finishing in 7:04.36, ahead of Australia and Japan.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.