Ryan Murphy returns to form with world lead time in Texas

The Olympic champion stormed to victory in the 200m backstroke, as Katie Ledecky landed her third title of the Pro Series in San Antonio.

By Andrew Binner

Ryan Murphy looked back to his best as he cruised to victory in the men’s 200m backstroke on night three of the TYR Pro Series.

The three-time Olympic swimming gold medallist failed to land a title at the 2019 World Championships, but clocked the fastest time of 2021 so far with a 1:56:06 in San Antonio.

Despite the encouraging time, Murphy revealed that he is not paying too much attention to the numbers at this stage in his Tokyo Olympic Games preparations.

"I don’t really come into these in-season meets with time goals, I come in with strategy goals,” Murphy said after. “I think I hit the strategy that time."

It was a third title in three nights for Katie Ledecky, who led from start to finish in the women’s 200m freestyle.

The reigning Olympic champion finished in 1:56:62 to add to her previous victories this week in this week in the 400m and 1500 free.

"I'm so happy where I'm at even though some of the times haven't been there this week," Ledecky said after.

Andrew Seliskar took the men’s event from lane one, in 1:47:01.

Elsewhere, Kathleen Baker overcame a stacked field to secure victory in the women’s 200m backstroke.

The Olympic silver medallist touched the wall in 2:07:54, more than a second clear of world record holder Regan Smith.

It was a busy night for Smith, who came back to win the 100m butterfly in 57.88 - her first competitive triumph since March 2020. Tom Shields took the men’s version in 52.25.

In the 400 individual medley, in-form Melanie Margalis won the women's event in 4:37.81, while Chase Kalisz took the men's race in 4:16.53.