In a stunning upset, Ryan Murphy of the United States settled for bronze in the men’s 100-meter backstroke. American men had not lost in the event since 1992, and Murphy was the defending Olympic champion. The Russians Evgeny Rylov and Kliment Kolesnikov finished first and second.
British swimmers dominated the men’s 200-meter freestyle as Tom Dean won gold and Duncan Scott won silver. Kieran Smith of the United States, the bronze medalist in the 400-meter freestyle, got off to a slow start and could not recover, finishing sixth. He had entered the final with the second-fastest time in the semifinals.
The women’s 100-meter backstroke was a scorcher. Kaylee McKeown of Australia won gold in an Olympic record of 57.47 seconds. Kylie Masse of Canada took silver, and Regan Smith of the United States, who had set an Olympic record in the semifinals, won bronze.