LONDON -- Matt Grevers set an Olympic record to win the men's 100-meter backstroke Monday, outlasting Nick Thoman in a 1-2 finish for the Americans at the London Olympics.
Grevers pulled off a stunning rally on his return lap, winning the 100 back in 52.16 -- the fifth straight Olympics, dating to the 1996 Atlanta Games, that the U.S. men have won the backstroke.
The 6-foot-8 Grevers finished 0.38 seconds ahead of the previous mark set by fellow American Aaron Peirsol at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Thoman joined his teammate on the medal podium
at 52.97, a gold-silver finish they were thinking about all along
and reiterated just before the final.
David Marsh, Thoman's coach, brought it up right moments before
they went out to the pool, saying "1-2."
Grevers said he and Thoman knew they "weren't jinxing
anything," and they were right, though Grevers didn't notice right
away that Americans took the top two spots.
"I must be selfish because it took me a good 10 seconds to
realize he got second," he quipped. "That's something I should do
right away. But when I noticed, that moment became much more
special. To know that we can go 1-2 in that event, again really
shows the USA's dominance in backstroke right now when we're able
to step up."
Japan's Ryosuke Irie was third in 52.97.
"I've been watching the Olympics for as long as I can
remember," Thoman said. "The first one I really remember is the
'92 Barcelona Games and just watching guys back then. Seeing Lenny
Krayzelburg, my idol, and then Aaron Piersol, again my idol, who I
got to train with for a little while. Just being able to carry on
that tradition, it's a great thing."