Swim Poll of the Week: Who Will Win the Men’s 100 Backstroke in Tokyo?

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This is the Swim Poll of the Week for Thursday, July 15, 2021, sponsored by Strechcordz Swim Training Products. In our last poll, we wanted to know: Who will win the men’s 100 backstroke in Tokyo?

There are four primary contenders in this race. The United States’ Ryan Murphy is the defending Olympic gold medalist from the Rio Games and the world-record holder in the event at 51.85, but he has not swum that fast since 2016. Murphy will aim to join countryman Aaron Peirsol as a repeat gold medalist in the 100 back and continue an Olympic winning streak for the United States in the event that began back in 1996.

China’s Xu Jiayu ranks second all-time in the event at 51.86, and he has captured the last two world titles in the 100 back, but Xu has not recorded any stellar times so far in 2021. Finally, there is the Russian duo of Kliment Kolesnikov and Evgeny Rylov, who rank first and second in the world so far this year. Rylov has previously broken 52 in the event, and he was the bronze medalist at the 2019 World Championships, while Kolesnikov, just 21, is the world-record holder in the 50 back and has gotten his 2021 off to a remarkable start after he finished a surprising ninth in the 100 back at the 2019 World Championships.

So who do Swimming World readers expect to come out on top in this four-way showdown?

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Who will win the men’s 100 backstroke in Tokyo?

Kliment Kolesnikov – 21%

Evgeny Rylov –20%

Ryan Murphy – 52%

Xu Jiayu – 5%


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