Ryan Murphy did not arrive in time to save his kingdom. When the Chicago giant was able to speed up his paddles, move his 100-pound body through the water and accelerate into the second pitch to come back faster and press the finish board in the final 100 backstroke, he discovered that everything was lost: the gold medal, the re-certification of the Olympic title he won Doing in Rio, the United States outperformed. After a series of consecutive Olympic Games of continuous leadership in the test, the Americans relinquished power. The new incumbent for the highest part of the podium was Russian Evgeny Rylov (51.98 seconds), the slender man from Novotroitsk who, at 24, won the highest award in a career marked by perseverance from a young age. Russia, after 25 years, again won the Olympic swimming championship.
Russia’s victory was twofold. Because Rylov was accompanied by his terrifying successor, Kliment Kolesnikov. They both entered the race like arrows. The starting horn and Rylov sounded on lane 2, Kolesnikov on lane 4 and Murphy on lane 5 to cover the first 50 meters of diving allowance. Murphy appeared earlier. This was not the norm. Until the 2016 Olympics, no one mastered underwater swimming better than the Americans. Kolesnikov made an offer of ten kicks. Fast, short, and powerful, they projected their floppy and long body toward the surface to begin to gain an advantage the Americans could never regain.
Muscovite had a higher hit rate and took the turn in 24.90 seconds. at a world record pace. His fellow countryman on Second Street was six hundred slower. The two led the event and competed for gold in an unprecedented showdown. A historic event for Russian swimming, which is undergoing a splendid period under the state payment of Vladimir Putin for the sport and thanks to private funding. In this section enters the mysterious millionaire Konstantin Grigoryshin, seducing great swimming personalities with prizes not even paid by FINA, organizer of the International Swimming League and founder of Energy Standard, the club where he brings together some of the best Slavic swimmers, including Rylov and Kolesnikov. With the help of coaches from all over the world, the Chosen Ones take turns concentrating in Moscow and Turkey, gaining prestige, money and training possibilities they would not have had before if they had not emigrated to the West.
Agile, light, flexible, floating at the most effective angle, legs like underwater propellers barely touching the surface and torso raised to provide minimal resistance, the two Russians advanced toward the last wall steadily on top of the peloton. Brilliantly, they didn’t break Murphy’s world record in Rio. Then the American activated his powerful engine to return in 26.58 seconds. In Tokyo, it failed to take off. His 26.93s fail. Everything was decided between the Russians and it was in the last subway. Rylov, the youngest, 1.85, less than 80 kilograms, was thin, bony and too graceful to bend and put his hand first, short by arm and shoulder, prevailed. Touch the board in 51.98 seconds. Kolesnikov in 52.00 and Murphy in 52.19.
The duo of Rylov and Kolesnikov brought Russian swimming back to the top after nearly three decades. The last time Russia won an Olympic title in inline swimming was at the 1996 Atlanta Games, when Alexander Popov won the 100 and 50 freestyle races while Denis Pankratov won gold in the 100 and 200 butterfly.
Spaniard Hugo Gonzalez de Oliveira swam with Rylov. Bordered by the first pass, he finished the 100th fastest of his career. He finished sixth with a time of 52.78 seconds. A small national achievement and a development for Spanish swimming after Aschwin Wildeboer finished seventh in the Beijing Games final with a time of 53.51 seconds.
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