Gold and new Olympic Record for ROC's Evgeny Rylov in men's 200m backstroke final

Evgeny Rylov of Team ROC competes in the Men's 200m Backstroke Semifinal on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 29, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Evgeny Rylov of Team ROC competes in the Men's 200m Backstroke Semifinal on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 29, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The ROC swimmer stormed to victory in 1:53.27 for his second gold of the Games, with the USA's Ryan Murphy taking home the silver and Great Britain's Luke Greenbank winning bronze. 

Evgeny Rylov of the ROC produced an immense swim to win the men's 200m backstroke final in a new Olympic Record time of 1:53.27. The 24-year-old touched the wall first, 0.88 seconds ahead of the USA's Ryan Murphy and 1.45 before bronze medallist Luke Greenbank of Team GB.

Rylov's gold was his second of the Games, after a dominant swim in the men's 100m backstroke final on 27 July. He can now call himself a double Olympic champion - and Olympic record holder to boot.

Rylov's time beat the former Olympic record of 1:53.41, set by the USA's Tyler Clary all the way back at London 2012. It was the first time in six Olympic cycles that it was not an American swimmer winning gold in the event.

The ROC swimmer spoke after the race about his performance, saying: "It was really tough to swim the last 50m... the time is not good and not bad, so it's OK. Not an extraordinary result."

However, the new Olympic champion was enthusiastic about the atmosphere inside the ROC team: "The team is supporting, and it's a great pleasure to be in this team, so it feels like a big family," he said.